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Fire engulfs Delta aircraft engine at Lagos airport

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An Atlanta bound Delta Airlines Flight 55 aborted a flight early morning today when one of its engines was engulfed in fire. The incident happened at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Consequently, Runway 18R of the Lagos was closed to traffic until further notice while Runway 18L was made available for international departures on request with contingency measures in place.

The incident was said to have occurred at about past 12am today.

A top official of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) who spoke on condition of anonymity said the fire has “totally been put out now but aircraft still on the Runway”.

The source said Runway 18R closed to traffic until further notice while Runway 18L available for international departures on request with Contingency measures in place.

The airline is yet to issue a statement over the incident.

A top official of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) who spoke on condition of anonymity said the fire has “totally been put out now but aircraft still on the Runway”.

The source said Runway 18R closed to traffic until further notice while Runway 18L available for international departures on request with Contingency measures in place.

Meanwhile, the United States based airline, Delta has reacted to incident involving its Flight 55 which aircraft engine was engulfed in fire shortly after departing the Lagos airport early this morning.

The management of the airline in a statement made available to New Telegraph said Delta flight 55 from Lagos, Nigeria to Atlanta returned to Lagos International Airport Tuesday after an issue with one of the A330-200’s two engines. 

The flight, according to the statement landed safely and customers exited the aircraft on the runway via emergency slides, stressing that airport fire authorities met the aircraft upon arrival. 

It noted that “Delta’s customers were bussed back to the terminal”.

“Delta is aware of five customers reporting non-critical injuries as a result of the evacuation.

“Delta teams have provided overnight hotel accommodations to customers and will rebook customers on an alternate Delta aircraft Wednesday afternoon. The safety of Delta’s customers and crew members is always our top priority”.

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Stop peddling fiction, Buhari tells Transparency International

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President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), to desist from peddling fiction and focus on constructive criticism and analysis.

The President in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity Garba Shehu said the organization has a responsibility to reflect the larger picture of the concrete and verifiable achievements of his administration since it came into office in May 2015.

Buhari said the government is still wondering the criteria or facts used by the anti-corruption watchdog to arrive at its very misleading and unfair conclusions in its assessment of the Federal government’s efforts in this anti-corruption crusade.

“Political will is the first major component of fighting corruption in any country and President Buhari has made a huge difference by demonstrating not only the political will but also the extraordinary courage to go after high profile looters, including former military service chiefs and Judges.

“It was once unthinkable to touch or prosecute the ‘‘big men’’ for corruption in Nigeria but President Buhari has ended impunity for corruption,” the President noted.

He continued that “Today, the Buhari administration has made accountability the bedrock of governance and corruption is no longer fashionable because it attracts consequences.

“Blocking leakages for corruption through the rigid enforcement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) had made life tougher for corrupt officials. He regretted that these efforts were not acknowledged by the Corruption Watchdog.

“Figures published by the EFCC, the anti-corruption agency, reveal that  N738.9 billion was recovered in just two years of the Buhari administration and this impressive and unprecedented record is worthy of mention and acknowledgement by anybody genuinely looking at the larger picture of the country’s progress in the war against corruption.

“During the 7th session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria, the Chairman of the Agency Ibrahim Magu noted that the figure represents $2.9 billion dollars,” Buhari noted.

The President said that besides these impressive recoveries of looted funds, the EFCC has recorded more than 140 successful prosecutions.

The Federal government according to him has also signed international agreements to recover the proceeds of corruption and to block the laundering of stolen assets abroad by public officials.

“Anybody who knows where Nigeria was coming from would not believe that corruption is worse under the Buhari administration.

“We wonder where they got their facts from. At a time, they are alleging increase in the incidence of corruption under this government, the whole of Africa is applauding by choosing President Buhari as the continental Champion to lead the fight against it. Nothing can be more eloquent than this,” he said.

The President said in the end, this whole episode may turn out to be just a political distraction, given the strong views some of TI’s patrons have expressed against the Buhari Administration.

“This notwithstanding, facts are facts, and those facts won’t cease to be facts even if you don’t care to pay attention to them,” he stressed.

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2019: APC governors meet President Buhari tonight

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President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to meet with state governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) tonight at the conference hall of the Wife of the President, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Newsmen report that the meeting might be a follow-up to the Daura meeting which was held at the president’s private resident last Friday.

The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, told newsmen after a closed door meeting with President Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, that their mission was merely to condole with the President over the loss of two members of his extended family.

He dismissed media reports that their mission to Daura was aimed at convincing the President to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election. The governor, however, stated that the governors would meet with the president soon to deliberate on the 2019 election.

Newsmen gathered that tonight’s meeting of the president with the APC governors was meant to convince President Buhari on the need to seek re-election in 2019.

The APC governors had earlier attended the meeting of the Council of State, presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. nan

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Reps raise alarm over N11 bn extra budgetary spending at NEMA

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The House of Representatives committee on emergency and disaster preparedness yesterday raised an alarm over extra-budgetary spending amounting to N11 million at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The lawmakers said while they approved the sum of N1.8 billion for NEMA in 2017, documents presented by the agency showed that it expended over N11billion.

The committee, which made the allegations at a budget defence with NEMA also  accused the Director General of the agency, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, for hiring contractors for the supply of some relief materials without adhering to due process.

Recall that the committee had on Tuesday queried Maihaja over the sum of N1.6bn spent on Libya returnees without any appropriation.

Deputy chairman of the House committee, Hon. Ali Isa JC (PDP, Gombe) who presided over the meeting demanded the DG to present the list of items purchased and the quantity delivered to each state; all documentary approvals from the president; copies of award letters given to contractors, among others.

A member of the panel, Adedoyin Olufunke (APC, Kwara) said  what NEMA spent was at variance with what the committee appropriated.

“We will not accept this. We can’t be rubber stamp to any government agency. In fact, I don’t think NEMA respects us as a committee,” she said.

Recating to the development, Hon. Timothy Golu (PDP, Plateau) observed that the NEMA DG did not disclose how much the agency got from the Ecological Funds and that even some directors of the agency appeared not to be on the same page with the DG.

Similarly, Hon. Prestige Ossy (APGA, Abia) said monies from the ecological funds are supposed to be used for ecologically related disasters, but that NEMA went outside its boundaries.

While responding, Maihaja said all the transactions done followed due process and that the money from Ecological Funds was approved by the president as part of intervention for emergency situations.

He said NEMA did not embark on any extra budgetary spending and promised to provide relevant information to the panel regarding the spendings.

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