By Sani Tukur
The Nigerian government has banned Boeing’s 737 Max 8 aircraft from operating in its airspace.
The decision was announced by the Minister of Aviation (State), Hadi Sirika, at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which held Wednesday in Abuja.
The meeting was chaired by President the Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Mr Sirika said the decision follows the recent crash involving the aircraft type owned by Ethiopian Airline.
The crash killed all 157 persons on board on Sunday morning. The flight was heading for Nairobi, Kenya.
The Ethiopian crash occurred about five months after Indonesia’s Lion Air-operated Boeing 737 Max also crashed into sea killing all on board after taking off.
Mr Sirika said he had earlier tweeted that there was no cause for alarm as no operator in Nigeria was using the type of airplane.
He said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has already issued an advisory statement saying “that nobody should fly out of Nigeria or into Nigeria using the 737 Max pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer themselves which is Messrs Boeing”.
The minister said regardless of the enormous safety records of the 737, it has caused concern for the world of aviation.
“We have issued directives that no operators with 737 (8) or (9) should operate into or out of our airports,” he said.
The decision by Nigerian government follows a similar decision taken by several other countries.