Travel News

France to reopen border with England for Covid-clear travelers on Wednesday - CNBC

DECEMBER 23, 2020


  • France will reopen its borders to passengers from England on Wednesday, ending a blockade intended to stop the spread of a new coronavirus variant, but which has held up thousands of lorries before Christmas.
  • With queues of trucks snaking to the horizon in England and some supermarket shelves stripped just days before Christmas, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson scrambled to get French President Emmanuel Macron to lift a ban on freight from Britain.
  • Late on Tuesday, a deal was reached with Paris to allow French and other EU residents to return home, providing they have a negative Covid test that is less than 72 hours old.

Police manage freight lorry drivers as the French border closures due to a new strain of COVID-19 at the entrance into the port of Dover in the Eastern Dock where the cross channel port is situated with ferries departing to go to Calais in France on the 2 Police manage freight lorry drivers as the French border closures due to a new strain of COVID-19 at the entrance into the port of Dover in the Eastern Dock where the cross channel port is situated with ferries departing to go to Calais in France on the 21st of December 2020, Dover, Kent, United Kingdom. Andrew Aitchison | In Pictures | Getty Images

France will reopen its borders to passengers from England on Wednesday, ending a blockade intended to stop the spread of a new coronavirus variant, but which has held up thousands of lorries before Christmas.

Much of the world shut its borders to Britain after a mutated coronavirus variant was discovered spreading swiftly across southern England.

With queues of trucks snaking to the horizon in England and some supermarket shelves stripped just days before Christmas, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson scrambled to get French President Emmanuel Macron to lift a ban on freight from Britain.

Late on Tuesday, a deal was reached with Paris to allow French and other EU residents to return home, providing they have a negative Covid test that is less than 72 hours old.

Britain said further details would be provided later on Tuesday, but still advised trucks not to travel to the Kent region where the most heavily used rail and ferry links are.

Johnson and his advisers said the mutated variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70% more transmissible, was spreading rapidly but that it had been identified because British scientists were so efficient at genomic surveillance.

Earlier the European Commission advised that non-essential travel to and from Britain should be discouraged but said that people heading home should be allowed to do so, provided they undergo a Covid-19 test or quarantine for 10 days.

However, border controls are governed by national policy, so each EU country can have its own rules.

Covid-19 tests usually take 24-48 hours for a result so it was not immediately clear how swiftly trucks could be moving again with Christmas days away.

The discovery of the new variant, just months before vaccines are expected to be widely available, sowed a fresh wave of panic in a pandemic that has killed about 1.7 million people worldwide and more than 67,000 in Britain.

Scientists say there is no evidence that vaccines currently being deployed in Britain - made by Pfizer and BioNTech - or other Covid-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant, known as the B.1.1.7 lineage

Food supply worries

The United Kingdom’s effective Covid-19 quarantine came just nine days before it is due to part ways with the EU after a transition period - considered to be one of the biggest changes in post-World War Two British history.

Countries across Europe and beyond have suspended travel from Britain since the weekend. Germany imposed a ban on UK travelers from Tuesday that could remain in place until Jan. 6.

One exception was the United States, which does not intend to impose COVID-19 screenings for passengers from Britain.

Cases of the new strain have also been detected in some other countries, including Denmark and Italy. Experts said the prevalence in Britain might be down to better detection.

Britain’s border crisis led to some panic-buying: shoppers stripped shelves in some supermarkets of turkey, toilet rolls, bread and vegetables.

While the government said there was enough food for Christmas, market leader Tesco and No. 2 player Sainsbury’s both said food supplies would be affected if the disruption continued. Tesco said it had imposed temporary buying limits on some essential products.

Stranded drivers

Britain said 632 trucks were stacked up on the M20 motorway in Kent, southern England, and 2,188 at nearby Manston Airport, now being used as a giant lorry park. The government said additional toilets and food vendors were being arranged, after the Road Haulage Association raised concerns about drivers’ welfare.

While trucks have still been able to cross from France into Britain, they could not return so European truck drivers are extremely reluctant to travel.

The border closures were causing headaches across Europe, especially for those trying to transport perishable food. Milk suppliers were already trying to boost milk stocks in Britain ahead of Brexit.

“The plan was to stock up in the next 10 days so if there is a Brexit problem there are stocks for January,” said Alexander Anton, the secretary general of the European Dairy Association. “Now you can’t find a transport company to send a driver to the UK.”

Lactalis, the world’s biggest dairy company, has had to reschedule some lorry deliveries to Britain because of the border closure, a spokesman for the French group said.

Television footage showed a small group of people arguing with police at the entrance to the Dover port.

Elsewhere, drivers, some swearing about Johnson and Macron, said they just wanted to get back home in time for Christmas.

Trafficking - Immigration Rescues 3-Week-Old Baby in Calabar - NAN

DECEMBER 23, 2020

The suspect denies the allegations.

The Marine Patrol team of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Cross River has rescued a three-week-old baby suspected to be a victim of child trafficking at the high sea.

The Cross River Comptroller of NIS, Okey Ezugwu, who briefed the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the incident in Calabar, said that the suspected child trafficker, Maureen Awokara, was arrested on December 19 at the high sea.

Mr Ezugwu said that the suspect was arrested by the marine officers on patrol following her inability to give a comprehensive explanation of the true owner of the baby.

"A few days ago, our officers at the marine patrol at the international waterways intercepted one Maureen Awokara, who claimed to be a native of Imo state with a three-week-old child.

"During the arrest, she came up with all stories that were not adding up. Initially, she said the child belongs to her sister, yet we have carried out a preliminary investigation and all the lines she gave us to reach the sister, (name withheld), is not connecting.

"At this point, we are going to hand her over to NAPTIP for further investigations. The preliminary investigation gives us every reason to believe that the little child is been trafficked.

"The suspect claims she is (was) going to Cameroon, Gabon and wherever. We are suspecting a cartel deal, because over time, we have had a lot of surveillance and serious checks at our border basis and the airport, making it impossible for any of them to use these routes.

"We are looking at a situation where they have now devised a means of using the waterways, using small boats to take away these little children along," he said.

He said an effort by the command to get in contact with other family members to ascertain if the family members were in agreement for her to take the baby away had been unsuccessful because the suspect was not willing to give them useful information on the matter.

Mr Ezugwu told NAN that the NIS marine patrol team will continue to police the waterways with a view to ensure that all forms of child trafficking and other act of criminality are suppressed.


Responding, Ms Awokara, 40, told NAN that the baby belongs to her younger sister who could not afford to take care of her after delivery on December 2.

She told NAN that the younger sister decided to give her the child because she has been married for 18 years without a child.

"She gave me the baby in Imo state; since they brought me here, I have been trying to get in contact with her but her number isn't connecting.

"The only time her number went through, I only heard a man's voice, which was not her own," she said.

When NAN sought to know if the father of the child agreed for her to take the baby away, she said that the father of the child "denied the pregnancy even before delivery".

"My younger sister is between 18-20 years. This is not her first time of giving birth; but, we don't know where the first child is as we speak," she said. (NAN)

NIS Begins Issuance of 'Enhanced e-Passports' - NAN

DECEMBER 23, 2020

The Enhanced e-Passport replaces the Machine-Readable e-Passport.

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), FESTAC Office, has begun the issuance of new Enhanced e-Passports as part of efforts to enable Nigerians to have expanded avenue to apply for International Passports.

The service also inaugurated a new edifice for the purpose and the official rollout of first Enhanced e-Passport in the FESTAC, Lagos, Office.

The Comptroller-General of Immigration Service (CGIS), Muhammed Babandede, said he was delighted that Festac Passport office was able to achieve such a great feat in spite of challenges.

Mr Babandede, who was represented by Doris Braimah, an Assistant Comptroller-General, said he was happy that Festac office had been translated to modern edifice suitable for the production of the enhanced e-Passport.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Enhanced e-Passport replaced the Machine-Readable e-Passport.

"The Enhanced e-Passport is part of the new reforms approved by the Federal Government.

"It is an intensive review of the former e-passport booklet which has been in circulation for over 10 years and has only 5-year validity," he said.

NAN reports that the CGIS, in his productivity drive on September 30, had deployed Deputy Comptroller of Immigration (DCI), Adeola Adesokan, and some personnel from the service headquarters to overhaul the operations at FESTAC office.

The CGIS said that Festac Passport Office was established in May 2001 to meet the needs of Nigerians in South-west.

"We knew that the Nigeria Passport has metamorphosed from manually written booklets to Machine-Readable e-Passport and now enhanced e-Passport.

"All these have been taken into consideration in order to meet the global operational standards at each season," Mr Babandede said.

According to the CGIS, the new Enhanced e-Passport has been rolled out in seven locations since 2019 when President Muhammadu Buhari officially launched it.

"Lagos earlier had two which are Ikoyi and Alausa Passport offices. However, we are now rolling out the third one in FESTAC.

"All these were duly considered by NIS bearing in mind of the state strategic relevance of Lagos.

"Lagos state houses three borders which are sea, land and air. Lagos is a state of commerce," the NIS boss said.


According to Mr Babandede, the new Enhanced e-Passport has various features such as Enhanced and self-tracking of application.

"It has:

"Polycarbonate Technology that eliminates damages and Enhanced security features and compliance with the latest International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.

"Ten years validity that saves one from frequent visits to passport offices, automation of issuance process to bring about transparency, addresses touting and it is strictly online payment based.

"Notable among the requirements is the link with National Identity Number (NIN) as it enhances the national security in terms of data management among others," he said.

The Passport Comptroller of FESTAC thanked the CGIS for the opportunity to lead the office.


Why We Have Not Imposed Travel Ban - Govt - NAN

DECEMBER 23, 2020

The federal government says it has not imposed travel ban, particularly to and from UK, over the mutated strain of COVID-19.

The government said it will require the concurrence of neighbouring countries for the ban to be effective.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he featured on a Radio Nigeria programme, "Politics Nationwide" yesterday in Abuja.

During the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mohammed said, "Although the government is concerned over importation of the COVID-19 new strain, it did not want to take a hasty decision".

He said the Presidential Committee on COVID-19 deliberated on the issue at its meeting on Monday and decided to watch the development for the time being.

He said the government was working with West African Health Organisations and other neighbouring countries, particularly, Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana.

"We did not want to take a hasty decision to ban flight from the UK into Nigeria only to find out our people are going through Cotonou, Lome or Accra to come into the country.

"What the Airlines will do is to transfer Nigerian passengers to these routes and they will enter the country through the land borders.

"This will lead into hardship to Nigerians because if you transfer your economy to other countries you lose a lot of money

"However, if we get the concurrence of these other countries, we will not hesitate to do the needful.

"We are consulting and being very careful in order to take a proper decision," he said.

It would be recalled that the minister gave the hint on Monday that the Federal Government might impose travel ban to and from certain parts of the world into the country.

Mohammed, a member of PTF, had said at a Special NAN Forum that the government was concerned about the new strain of COVID-19, manifesting itself in the UK that is the mutated strain.

"It is difficult to detect, it spreads faster and people have been known to die of it within a very short period of its detection.

"This is a major concern to us as a country.

"Why I did not want to pre-empt the PTF because we are meeting this afternoon, it is going to be top on the agenda of our discussions.

"I will not be surprised if that will be the recommendation of the committee which is meeting later today," he said.

The minister noted that many European countries had banned flights into the UK and many imposed restrictions into that country. (NAN)

FAAN MD Assures Of Increase In Passenger Traffic - NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

DECEMBER 24, 2020

By Shola Adekola - Lagos 


The managing director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Hamisu Yadudu has pledged that his management will continue to support activities that will portray the organisation in a positive light and bring about increase in passenger traffic.

Yadudu who spoke at the Servicom Networking Meeting held in Calabar Cross Rivers State said Servicom customer service department remained a tool for transformation of organisations.

Noting that the networking event was a great milestone in the organisation’s quest for outstanding service, Yadudu declared: “We should not forget the essence of networking which include interacting with others to exchange information and develop professionally and social contacts.

Therefore, this event is a great opportunity for colleagues and friends to reunite and seek ways to move our various organisation forward.

“It is no longer news that the year 2020 has been a trying one and has tested our mettle in every aspect of our lives. We have learned to rise to this challenge and overcoming it will make the victory much sweeter.”

According to the FAAN MD, the aviation sector played a vital role in facilitating economic growth and development which provided numerous economic and social benefit saying that some of the main economic impacts of aviation arose from its ability to generate employment opportunities, wealth, effectively supporting global business and tourism, especially developing ones, the opportunity to facilitate trade and enable connection in the global supply chain.

The sector he said remained one of the most hit sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a sudden drop in demand for air travel, bringing the airports to a standstill situation coupled with the air traffic reduction, low passenger booking, and travel restrictions imposed by some countries.

Consequent upon this development, he noted that airports have lost take-off and landing fees as well as Passenger Service Charges (PSC) which were the major revenue-generating points of airports.

In her remarks, the general manager Customer Service of FAAN, Mrs Ebele Okoye noted that the COVID-19 outbreak has hit the airports hard which has further stalled development in emerging markets with air travel fallen sharply and has prompted airlines to cut capacity.

She cited Airports Council International (ACI) a global trade group for the world’s airports, there were well over 4,000 airports across the globe with scheduled traffic in (2016) and these generated revenues of $172.2 billion.

In 2017 it was increased by 6.2 per cent. The airport industry has steadily expanded in recent years, driven by strong growth in passenger traffic. In 2019, total trips exceeded 9 billion and increased by 3.4 per cent year by year.

Okoye explained that she personally attached great importance to the networking as it was a valuable opportunity to openly and frankly address issues that concerns operators in SERVICOM.

“It also fosters interaction in practical terms among the MDAs in the aviation industry and SERVICOM presidency. I believe this forum will also enable us to rub minds, exchange views on challenges affecting our work, and strengthen the spirit of teamwork in our midst. Obviously, no MDA can solve the problems of aviation. It takes the collective responsibility of all of us.”

She noted that with the COVID-19 pandemic with its dramatic impact on airport traffic and revenue, it was accompanied by an economic crisis driving lower demands for air travel, reduced passenger traffic worldwide.

Her words: “The drop in passenger traffic almost completely paralysed both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues, such as landing charges for aircraft and also security charges. Consequently, a sharp fall in revenues, for FAAN which went as low as 25-30 per cent drop of her pre-COVID-19 revenue, this amounts to N18.9 billion, following a 90 per cent decline in revenue in the first half (H1) of 2020.

“The reality of today’s Service Delivery is that customers are in control. Customers love innovation, and often, at low-cost. In our interaction with them at work let us strive to seek a balanced approach, that would meet and exceed customers’ needs and expectations.”

France-U.K. Border in Channel to Remain Open Through Christmas - BLOOMBERG

DECEMBER 24, 2020

By Tiago Ramos Alfaro

The U.K. and France agreed to keep the key Dover-Calais trade crossing, including Eurotunnel, open over Christmas.

Both ports will remain operational to allow hauliers and citizens to “return home as soon as possible,” U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter Wednesday morning. Coronavirus testing will also continue in Kent, the county where Dover is located, he said.

France had cut off shipments from Dover, the U.K.’s busiest port, on Sunday due to concerns related to a faster-spreading variant of Covid-19 that prompted the government to lock down London and surrounding areas.

We won’t risk travellers’ health, UK under radar – FG - PUNCH

DECEMBER 24, 2020

BY  Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Federal Ministry of Aviation on Wednesday said it was still monitoring developments in the United Kingdom as regards the outbreak of a new strain of COVID-19 and how it affects air travels from the country.

It stated that although some countries of the world had banned flights from the UK, the Nigerian government had not done so but would not risk the health of air travellers in Nigeria.

The Director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, told our correspondent that Nigeria just reopened its land borders and would make all necessary research before coming up with air travel restrictions.

He said, “Even those countries are beginning to ease the restrictions, e.g. France. Nigeria is monitoring the developments closely and will not risk the health of Nigerians.

“Nigeria just reopened its land borders to human movement, so any restrictions on international flights would have to be done in alliance with neighbouring countries.”

He expressed hope that the situation would not lead to new restrictions.

Which countries have reported new variants of COVID-19? - ALJAZEERA

DECEMBER 26, 2020

Three new variants of the coronavirus have been detected in recent weeks, spreading to at least 13 countries worldwide.

Three new variants of COVID-19 have been detected in recent weeks, leading to increased vigilance across the world as officials say a variant found in the United Kingdom could be up to 70 percent more transmissible.

However, none of the variants so far has been found to be more fatal, or more likely to be able to evade vaccines or treatments.

A new variant was first reported in the United Kingdom on December 14. Named VUI-202012/01 (the first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020), it is thought to have first appeared in mid-September.

Referred to by some experts as the B117 lineage, this has rapidly become the dominant strain in cases of COVID-19 in many parts of the UK.

Last week, South Africa reported another new strain which appears to have mutated further than the UK variant.

Known as 501.V2, this variant is dominant among new confirmed infections in South Africa.

On December 24, the head of Africa’s disease control body said another COVID-19 strain, known as the P681H was identified in Nigeria.

It is of a separate lineage from the other mutations but does not seem to be spreading as fast as the other two new variants.

Below is a list of countries which have so far reported cases of the new strains of coronavirus.


On December 21 Australian health officials said two people travelling from the UK arrived in the country with the new strain.


The World Health Organization reported that nine cases of a new variant were detected in Denmark.


On December 25 France detected its first case of a new variant in a French national who returned from the British capital on December 19.

He had no symptoms and was quarantined in his home in the central city of Tours.


On December 23, Italy registered the second case of a new strain of the novel coronavirus near the central town of Ancona, but the patient had no direct contact with the UK, where the variant first emerged.

Laboratory director Stefano Menzo told Italian news agency ANSA that it was not the strain first detected in the UK.

The country had already detected that new COVID-19 strain on December 20 in a person who recently arrived from the UK. The patient landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport and is now in quarantine.


On December 25 Japan reported its first five cases of the fast-spreading variant in passengers arriving from the UK.


In Lebanon, the country’s caretaker health minister said on December 25 that a case of the new variant was detected on a flight arriving from London.

The Middle East Airlines flight 202 arrived on December 21, Hamad Hassan said, urging all passengers on the flight and their families to take precautionary measures.

The Netherlands

On December 22, Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said the new variant identified in the UK was found in two cases in the Amsterdam area.


On December 24, the head of Africa’s disease control body said a new variant of the new coronavirus emerged in Nigeria.

The variant was found in two patient samples collected on August 3 and on October 9 in Nigeria’s Osun state, according to a working research paper seen by The Associated Press news agency.

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Singapore confirmed on December 24 its first case of the new coronavirus variant found in the UK.

Among the 31 COVID-19 patients who arrived between November 17 and December 17, one was confirmed as carrying the B117 strain, while 11 others were found infected preliminarily, and their confirmatory results are pending, Singapore’s health ministry said.


Spain reported its first four cases of the new variant on December 26. All four infections were related to travel to the UK, the regional deputy health chief, Antonio Zapatero, said.

There are three other suspected cases of the coronavirus variant but the results of tests will only be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, Zapatero said.

South Africa

South Africa last week reported a new COVID-19 strain which appears to have mutated further than the UK variant. It has made its way to several countries including the UK.

Known as 501.V2, this variant is dominant among new confirmed infections in South Africa, and appears to be more infectious than the original virus, according to health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy.


The new variant of the coronavirus circulating in the UK was detected in Sweden after a traveller from the UK fell ill on arrival and tested positive for it, the Swedish Health Agency said on December 26.

Health Agency official Sara Byfors told a news conference the traveller, who was not identified, had kept isolated after arrival in Sweden and that no further positive cases had so far been detected.

United Kingdom

On December 14, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said more than 1,000 cases of a new variant of the coronavirus have been found, predominantly in the south of England.

On December 23, Hancock said the country found two cases of yet another new coronavirus variant linked to South Africa.

“Both are contacts of cases who have travelled from South Africa over the past few weeks,” Hancock told a media briefing.

Reactivating intra-Africa flights - THE NATION

DECEMBER 27, 2020

Connecting flights within Africa has remained a huge challenge for many years, forcing passengers to spend many hours before reaching their destinations. But, the narrative changed at the weekend when one of Nigeria’s carriers Air Peace activated the bilateral air services agreement to begin direct flights into Johannesburg, KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR reports.

The drive to achieve seamless air connectivity within Africa received a boost at the weekend when Nigeria reactivated its bilateral air services agreement (BASA) with the Republic of South Africa for direct flights between the two countries.

Though some Nigerian carriers namely, defunct Nigeria Airways Limited, Air Nigeria, and Arik Air had operated the route, flight operations were halted for sundry reasons.

But, relief came for passengers at the weekend when Air Peace kicked off  twice weekly direct flights on the Lagos/Johannesburg route.

Though the carrier had been designated by the Federal Government to operate direct flights on the route, the carrier embarked on keen market assessment needs before activating the operations.

Investigations show that many passengers had to travel to other countries before they could get direct flights into South Africa.

Worried over the trend,  Air Peace, in its desire to block such gap in intra-Africa air connectivity, kicked off the flights, which besides saving passengers travel time, will create a window to lubricate trade relations between Africa’s most populous country- Nigeria and the Rainbow Nation  – South Africa.

Describing the flights as a milestone in the airline’s growth and expansion trajectory, Air Peace Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mrs Oluwatoyin Olajide said the service is a solidification of economic and commercial ties the two countries.

She described the direct flight operations as the example of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Mrs Olajide said: “It is an implementation of our bilateral air services agreement. We are glad this has happened and we believe both countries will benefit hugely from this in the area of employment creation, promotion of tourism, seamless facilitation of people, which is a prerequisite for economic development and other forms of value to be created along the chain.”

She said the decision to expand flights into South Africa would deepen the vision of affordable and safe air transportation for Africans and hospitality, connecting cities across the continent, thereby fostering unity and enhancing impactful economic relations.

The COO further said: “Our determination to reduce air travel burden of Africans is unwavering. This is the reason we have employed dynamics that are peculiar to the African people. Now that we have started regular flights into Johannesburg, we are promising South Africans, Nigerians and other Africans that the new route we be well served.

“We pledge to work very harmoniously with all stakeholders, including the South African Civil Aviation Authority, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, airport administrators and governments of both countries to ensure the new route is successfully serviced.”

Also, the Consul-General of Nigeria to South Africa, Abdulmalik Ahmed, said the flights would bring economic benefits to both countries because South Africa has remained Nigeria’s biggest partner over the years.

The Nigerian envoy said flights by Air Peace into South Africa would help to improve foreign inflows and encourage investment. He said: “I will like to take this opportunity to call upon Nigerian corporate entities to follow the lead of Air Peace and take advantage of the huge investment opportunities in South Africa.”

In an interview, the COO, Airports Company, South Africa, Fundi Sithe, commended the airline for flying into its flagship airport, Oliver Tambo International Airport.

She said the number of passengers on the return trip indicated that flight operations were much- awaited.

She said: “We saw the inaugural flights arrive at Oliver Tambo Airport with huge number of passengers and also returned with greater number of passengers. This is significant and it tells us that there is a level of demand that has not been serviced.”

The Airport Manager called for more flight frequencies and direct operations into other South African airports, including Durban and Cape Town.

On his part, Chairman of the airline, Mr Allen Onyema, said flights into South Africa being the carrier’s second international route have opened possibilities for intra-continental businesses, in addition to improving bilateral ties between the two countries.

He said the feat by the carrier indicated that Nigerian carriers were not push overs and could hold their own in a friendly operating environment.

Onyema said the direct flights into South Africa would not only reduce travel time, but also encourage real relationship.

He said: “We have chosen to fly twice weekly to Johannesburg as a carefully thought out strategy with the timing that is good for passengers. With time we will graduate the flight into daily operations.

“We feel great about this service which allows Nigerians fly direct to Johannesburg ,South Africa and back to Nigeria instead of going round Africa before getting to South Africa. Now in less than six hours you can achieve that feat.

“This was our promise to Nigerians six years ago when the airline was launched, that we are not only going to connect cities within Nigeria, but will also connect the country with other nations of the world. Gradually we are getting there.

“Everything we said we will do in 2014, we have been able to achieve them and we believe we can do more with articulate planning. So, the era of saying Nigerian carriers are pushovers is gone forever. All we need from the government is an enabling operating environment to enable us perform and I bet you we would perform more than expectations.

“We do not want to kid ourselves that we are the only airline on the route now, some other people will want to come, so for us, we will strive to sustain the tempo of whatever we are doing    “We have to pragmatic we have to be strategic in our planning. We have been following our business plan meticulously since 2014.”

Third Mainland Bridge to reopen at midnight - NAN

DECEMBER 27, 2020

The Federal Controller of Works Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, says the total shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge would be lifted at midnight 24 hours ahead of schedule.

Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that the total shutdown had to be lifted because the contractor was able to fasttrack the delicate task they needed to execute.

He said that the initially scheduled 72 hours timeframe was achieved within 48 hours, hence the reopening to traffic 24 hours ahead of schedule.

“We have completed the casting of the three number expansion joints on Third Mainland bridge.

“Therefore, the bridge shall be opened at 12:00 midnight Sunday 27th December and no longer Monday 28th December.

“That is 48 hours and no more 72 hours,” Popoola said.

NAN reports that the controller had on Tuesday, Dec. 22 announced a 72 hours total shutdown of the bridge with effect from midnight on Saturday to midnight Tuesday.

The shutdown was to stop vibrations caused by movement of vehicles for contractors to cast concrete on additional three expansion joints in the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge.

NAN reports that the Third Mainland Bridge which was going through series of repairs, had to be partially shut on July 24 for another round of rehabilitation works.

The repair that was expected to last six months was extended by one month due to the recent #EndSARS protests in Lagos, thereby extending the completion date from January 2021 to February.

The construction was initially divided into two phases of three months on each carriageway, starting with the Oworonsoki bound carriageway whose completion dragged to four months.

Traffic was partially diverted on a stretch of 3.5km where construction is ongoing between Adeniji Adeniji Ramp and Ebute Meta, while different time belts were allotted for traffic diversions on the bridge.

The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

The bridge starts from Oworonshoki, which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island.

Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged as the longest in Africa until 1996 when the Oct. 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed.



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