This was confirmed on Monday by the airline’s spokesman, Mr. Stanley Olise.
According to Mr. Olise’s statement, the retrenchment, and shedding of staff is not unlinked with the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing the sacking as “painful but rightful decision,” the airline’s management said the cutbacks were necessary to ensure that Air Peace survives the hardship of the times.
The spokesman’s communique further stressed that the decision was inevitable under the circumstances, adding that the move was made in order to protect the continuity of the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in the future, as well as to ensure the survival of the airline.
Below is the full statement as released by Mr. Olise on behalf of the Air Peace management.
“The Management of Air Peace wishes to state that it has taken a very painful but rightful decision, in the circumstances the airline has found itself as a result of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health, to terminate the employment of some of its pilots.
“This decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost 3000 workforce, the affected pilots inclusive. The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfill its financial obligations to its staff, external vendors, aviation agencies, maintenance organisations, insurance companies, banks and other creditors hence the decision to restructure its entire operations with a view to surviving the times.
“The pandemic has hit every airline worldwide so badly that it has become very impossible for airlines to remain afloat without carrying out internal restructuring of their costs. Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period. Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff. The new salaries reflect a 0%-40% cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff. Even after the cuts, it was obvious that for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.
“Air Peace has never, for one day, ever owed salaries to its workers in its almost six years of existence, pilots inclusive. Rather the management of Air Peace has always been known to be increasing salaries of its employees periodically without being prompted by staff. In fact, in one fell swoop, Air Peace increased the salaries of pilots by over 100% in one day! Our salaries have always been paid even before the end of the month in the last 5 years!
“So we love all our staff. This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves. In order to protect the continuity of majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance. When everything comes back to normal those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future if they so wish.
“The decision is a reflection of the negative impact of the pandemic on airlines and aviation worldwide. We are in trying times. Even the biggest airlines in Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, Australia and, indeed, Africa, are all either slashing jobs and cutting salaries in order to remain afloat or are shutting down. Air Peace is not immune from these challenges.”
26 Kidnapped FRSC Officials Regain Freedom – Gov. Sule
The 26 officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) kidnapped along Mararaban-Udege in Nasarawa State have regained their freedom.
Governor Abdullahi Sule disclosed this on Monday at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.
Governor Sule said the recent release of the remaining batch of seven officials has led to the complete freedom of the FRSC operatives that were abducted last week.
Three of the officials had earlier been rescued by security personnel on September 15, a day after 10 officers of the corps were seized in an attack by suspected bandits.
“All the twenty-something officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps that were kidnapped, all of them were released yesterday.
“I want to thank all the security (agencies) and those that have worked very hard to ensure that we achieve that feat.
“I want to thank them for all the efforts they are making to ensure that Nasarawa remains safe,” the governor said.
The officials were travelling for a training programme at FRSC Academy in Udi when they were attacked by suspected bandits
Following their abduction, the police authorities in Nasarawa State announced the rescue of three operatives earlier.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe disclosed this to the Channels Television in an exclusive interview on September 15.
EFCC, Navy Re-Strategise Against Oil Theft
As part of efforts to stem the tide of criminal activities in the maritime sector, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Navy have agreed to review their strategies.
This resolve was expressed on Monday, September 21, 2020 during a courtesy visit by the Zonal Head of the Lagos office of EFCC, AbdulRasheeed Bawa, to Commodore Ibrahim Aliyu Shetima, Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship, NSS BEECROFT, Apapa Lagos.
Speaking during the visit, Bawa said: “The EFCC has the mandate to prosecute arrested suspects for illegal dealings in petroleum products and other maritime-related crimes and it has lived up to its billings. We will continue to curtail the activities of the criminals in the maritime industry”.
Bawa, who conveyed the regards of the acting Chairman, Umar Mohammed, to Shetimma, acknowledged the existing cooperation and working relationship between the EFCC and the Navy.
The Lagos Zonal Head, who used the occasion to officially introduce himself to the Commander, also sought a more robust collaboration and deepening of the existing working relationship.
Bawa, who also gave an update on the progress of the cases handed over to the EFCC Lagos Zonal Office, added that “We have recorded a 90 per cent success rate in our cases in court.
“Out of the 46 cases handed over to the Commission in the course of the collaboration, 22 of them have been completed successfully, including 17 vessels and their products forfeited to the Federal Government after diligent investigation and prosecution, while 18 others are at advanced stages of prosecution in various courts”.
Bawa further expressed the readiness of the Commission to look into whatever challenges that might be hindering the speedy prosecution of suspects over illegal oil deals, adding that “the Commission would continue to strategize and be more proactive in the investigation of cases handed over to it so as to ensure that products in the vessels are evacuated promptly.”
Earlier, Shettima had expressed his gratitude over the visit, saying, “This visit could not have come at a better time. I am impressed by the progress the Commission had made so far on the prosecution of maritime-related offenders.
“We appreciate your efforts and timely intervention in the evacuation of suspects and prompt prosecution.
“Globally, maritime resources are important and Nigeria is not an exemption. We must continue to work together to protect the industry and curtail the activities of the criminals.”
President Buhari Congratulates Obaseki, Reiterates Commitment To Free, Fair Elections
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as governor of Edo State.
He congratulated him on Sunday in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, urging him to continue to show grace and humility in victory.
The President also commended the election process in the state, reiterating the government’s commitment to free and fair elections.
“My commitment to free and fair elections is firm because without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak,” he said.
“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.
“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”
Speaking further, President Buhari also commended the people of the state, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.
It was a dramatic process that saw Obaseki run a governorship race against Ize-Iyamu for a second time in four years.
Governor Obaseki and His Deputy, Philip Shaibu have been re-elected into office for another four-year tenure.
Both men faced each other in 2016, albeit with Obasek flying the flag of the APC and Ize-Iyamu flying that of the PDP.
A political rift between the governor and Oshiomhole which spiraled beyond the state to national politics, saw both men switch parties and square up against each other on platforms they once criticised.
The campaign, characterised by drama and controversy that did not spare the State House of Assembly, was tempered by the intervention of the Oba of Benin to calm fears that the poll could turn violence heightened.
A peace accord was also signed by all the candidates days before the poll as stakeholders made concerted efforts to ensure a successful poll.
Overall, most of the stakeholders rated the exercise as largely peaceful, free and fair.
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