Skip to content

Dana Air: Federal Govt, National Assembly on Collision Course – Daily Trust

January 4, 2013

Senators and members of the House of Representatives yesterday warned that the federal government is toying with lives of Nigerians by allowing Dana Air to resume operation even when investigations into the crash of its plane was ongoing.

Dana Air’s McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft flying from Abuja crashed few minutes to Lagos killing all 153 passengers and crew as well as six other people on ground on June 3, last year.

The airline resumes operations today having completed a re-certification process. It will fly from the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos 2 to the local wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Reacting to the situation yesterday, a member of the Senate committee on Aviation, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (PDP, Borno south) said it is absurd for the airline to resume operations while reports of investigations into the crash were yet to be made known to Nigerians.

“As of now, Nigerians are yet to know what happened to the Dana aircraft that crashed and killed our people. We know what is happening.  We have the responsibility of advising Nigerians not to patronise Dana airlines yet.

“As a committee of the Senate, we have laid the report of our investigations, but the Senate as a whole has neither debated the report nor passed any resolution on the matter. Even the Accident Investigation Bureau under the Federal Ministry of Aviation has not produced the report of its own investigation into the crash. So, on what basis is Dana resuming operations? Ndume asked.

Also, some members of the House of Representatives in telephone interviews with Daily Trust yesterday condemned the lifting of ban on flight operations of Dana Airline.

Chairman House committee on Aviation Rep Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP, Abia) said: “I know that the president will not be insensitive to the lives of Nigerians and he is committed to making sure that everybody will leave up to their bidding. We Know they are not going to implement the report, but I am satisfied that we did our job and nobody caged us to do what is not right and Nigerians will bear us witness.”

Chairman House Committee on Information and National Orientation Rep Buba Jubril (CPC, Kogi) said the action is not fair to Nigerians and that it creates the impression that the executive and the legislature are working at cross roads.

“It is not fair on Nigerians and the House of Representatives that the ban on Dana Airline operations has been lifted when there are pending issues to be addressed. It is not proper to take that kind of action at this point in time. We took our action based on the findings of our committee that investigated the Dana crash. The executive should not create the impression that we are working at cross roads when we are supposed to be working together for the well being of Nigerians,” Jubril said.

Two other lawmakers who spoke on condition of anonymity said the action of the executive is ‘irresponsible and dictatorial’ despite the loss of lives and the recent helicopter crash in Bayelsa that claimed the lives of former Kaduna state governor, Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Azazi and four others.

“This shows that the executive want us to start 2013 on a conflict note or how do we explain the airline operation despite the crisis and controversies, it is now back to business. We will definitely look into this when we resume next week,” one of the reps said.

But Secretary General of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Captain Mohammed Joji has described the lifting of ban on the Dana Airline as a welcome development.

“It is very good decision because if airline companies are grounded because of accident there will not be airline operator at all. Every major airline had cases of air crashes. So it was wrong in the first place to ground the airline,” he said.

Reacting to the return of Dana airline yesterday, Captain Joji who is the Chief Executive Officer of skypower airline faulted the report of the Senate committee on the aviation sector.

He described the report of the Senate committee on aviation on the Nigerian Aviation sector as incorrect and misleading saying.

Following the Lagos Dana plane crash, the Senate on June 5, 2012 mandated its committee on aviation to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incident.  The Senate also urged the federal government to ground all Dana aircrafts pending the outcome of the investigation into the crash.

With the resumption of flight operation today, the airline will certainly struggle to survive in business and faces the herculean task of building public confidence to bring back credibility to it services. NCAA spokesperson Sam Adurogboye when contacted on the matter said the airline went through five stages of rigorous recertification process before they had their license restored.

Scores of air passengers who spoke to Daily Trust said they will still fly Dana in as much as the NCAA has assured of airworthiness of the company’s aircrafts while some travellers are still sceptical about the airline’s credibility to fly.

One Mr. Badejo Adejumo (not real name) said he is still going to fly major airline operators in the developed countries do record accidents and still fly safely after such incidents.

Another passenger, Mrs Sarat Okikiolu said she would never fly any airline that recorded such huge loss of lives. The airline license was restored in September last year, Dana is set to make its initial flight today from Lagos Murtalan MUhammed Airport Two to the local wing of Abuja airport.

The NCAA’s spokesperson, Sam Adurogboye when contacted in a telephone conversation said the airline went through five stages of rigorous re-certification process before they had their license restored.

He said Dana also did the required 50hours of flight test with NCAA’s flight inspectors on-board saying “I can assure you that Dana is safe to fly.”

According to him, the airline has done everything humanly possible to ensure safe operations which NCAA as regulator is aware of.  Adurogboye said, “So, I am assuring passengers that as Dana is back to fly, they should rest their mind on seamless services.”

Scores of air passengers who spoke to Daily Trust said they will still fly Dana in as much the NCAA has assured of their airworthiness while some travellers are still sceptical about the airline’s credibility to fly.  One Mr. Badejo Adejumo (not real name) said he is still going to fly with the airline because giants airlines operators in the develop countries do record accidents and iccidents and they still fly safely.

Another passenger, Mrs. Sarat Okikiolu said no that she would never fly with any airline that recorded such huge lost of lives.

Secretary General of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Captain Mohammed Joji, has described the lifting of ban on the DANA airline as a welcome development.

“It is very good decision because if airline companies are grounded because of accident there will not be airline operator at all. Every major airline had cases of air crashes. So it was wrong in the first place to ground the airline,” he said.

Reacting to the lifting of DANA airline license to fly in a telephone interview, Captain Joji who is the Chief Executive Officer of skypower airline, faulted the report of the senate committee on the aviation sector.

He described the report of the Senate committee on aviation on the Nigerian Aviation sector as incorrect and misleading.

Dana_Air_crash_8963627021

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. January 4, 2013 10:45

    Permission to share facebook comment by Aliyu Nuhu “Today at exactly 8.30am Dana airlines will resume it’s operation with a flight from Lagos to Abuja.

    Dana’s plane, an MD83 flight 992 crashed on June 3 2012 in Lagos in Iju area of Lagos killing 153 passengers and crew on board and another 10 people on the ground.

    The plane also destroyed many properties setting buildings on fire and killing some of the occupants.

    There were allegation of irregularities and negligence on the part of Dana which made the government to suspend it’s licence.

    Now that the airline is allowed to resume flights it means the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has cleared the airline of responsibility of negligence even without telling Nigerians how it arrived at that conclusion.

    This really a sad development, an act of irresponsibility by the Nigerian government.

    While there is no law that said airlines should be grounded after an accident,the case of DANA calls for scrutiny based on allegations made by DANA engineers that portrayed the airline to be both negligent and reckless in toying with the lives of Nigerians.

    The engineers alleged that the ill-fated plane was forced to fly with an engine fault.

    To date the crash report has not been made available to the public to know what actually caused the crash and the involvement of DANA in causing it.

    Again DANA has not paid compensation to the 153 families of dead victims including 10 ground casualties.

    The civil aviation act 48(3) mandated airlines to pay initial $30,000 to families of each victim within 30 days regardless of whether investigation is concluded or not.

    The insurer of Dana Prestige Assurance has paid about 30 percent claims to the victims and stopped payment on very spurious excuses.

    Some victims’s families were paid $15,000 instead of the $30,000 stipulated by law.

    With the absence of accident report and failure of Dana to compensate victims,why did Nigerian authorities allow the airline to resume operation?

    My guess is that corruption played a role,the Nigerian way of getting around issues even where human lives are involved.

    My advice to Nigerians is to boycott the airline since at least no Nigerian official can tie our hands and force us into the plane.

    Shame on our leaders!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: