Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt
The Federal Government has said that it will beam its searchlight on Dana Air and other airlines operating in the country to ensure that Nigerians travelling by air are safe.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, made this known when he visited the scene of the incident involving a Dana Air plane at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State.
Sirika explained that the Federal Government, had through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, increased oversight on all airlines, with particular attention on Dana.
He explained that the reason for the increased attention on Dana was because the airline had been in the news for bad reasons lately.
Though, the minister did not mention any of the reasons, he maintained that the Federal Government was taking the issues seriously.
“We have increased our oversight on all the airlines in the country with particular attention to Dana Air, having been in the news for bad reasons lately. So, we are taking it seriously; and since the first incident, the NCAA has been on the matter regarding Dana and other airlines,” Sirika stressed.
The minister, however, explained that investigation had begun with a view to ascertaining the cause of Tuesday’s incident, adding that the findings would be made public in accordance with the law.
He pointed out that Nigeria had been observing global best practices in the aviation sector, recalling that the country scored high in its recent rating by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Sirika stated, “All the standards and the recommended practices are regulated worldwide the same way; and Nigeria recently has done very well in aviation. We scored 96.4 per cent in security when ICAO did the safety audit of the country.
“For the first two airports were certified by ICAO; the two airports are in Lagos and Abuja. We are doing everything we can to certify all airports. Nigeria scored over 67 per cent last year on safety.
“We are on our way to ensuring that everything is perfect in the aviation industry. We want to assure the general public that whatever it will cost us to maintain this high standards and improve upon them, we will do it.”
The minister expressed dissatisfaction that whenever an accident happened, everybody would become an expert, adding that though people had the right to air their opinions, the best thing to do was to allow statutory agencies to carry out their investigations.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.