Associated Crash Site
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has called on Nigerians, especially on politicians not to make political capital of the air crash involving Embraer 120 operated by Associated Aviation Limited that killed 15 souls on board when it nosedived into JUHEL oil facility at the Lagos airport recently.
The agency has also said Nigerians should forget their differences and mourn for those who lost their lives in the accident.
The agency noted that since the past two and half years government has concerned itself in improving airport infrastructure, air navigation and safe flight operation, but in spite of the efforts already made the accident happened.
In a statement signed by the General Manager Corporate Communications of FAAN, Yakubu Dati, said political leaders in other parts of the world do not play to the gallery when tragedy befalls their country; rather they identify with government and give their full support to find ways to move on, but in Nigeria politicians use it to discredit the government that is in power.
“Those who think of what they could get from the country and not what they can contribute for the nation’s progress, are now throwing blame, forgetting their dirty, unsavoury past which has brought us to where we are today. The change we are making will take some time to unsettle the many years of lopsided and inefficient policies and actions which have brought us to where we are today,” Dati said.
He remarked that it is not a secret that the Nigerian aviation sector was left to a cascading decline, until the present leadership embarked on a rescue operation two years ago.
“Everyone in the country can attest to the fact that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has vigorously pursued the aviation master plan aimed at transforming the sector. Those who are critical and who are attributing the accidents to her should know better than to whip cheap sentiment and draw attention away from the real problem of the country.”
He said it was the determination of the present government to ensure that the country does not record any more accident as the policy laid on ground would soon start yielding results, adding that no country, even the most advanced is immune to air crashes.
“If you check world aviation statistics, in the last three months there have been 100 emergency landings all over the world. South Africa alone has recorded 37 emergency landings with about 25 deaths in less than 12 months.
“But they involve unscheduled aircraft. We have since two years ago started putting things in place to make the aviation industry meet international standards. And things have improved; even the international community acknowledge the efforts government is making in improving air safety in Nigeria,” Dati also said.
The FAAN image maker said international regulatory agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have put a stamp of approval on these achievements in a number of ways.
“For example, ICAO recently listed Nigeria as one of the 14 countries in Africa that have effective safety implementation above the global average of 61 per cent, as contained in its 2013 Safety Report. The ICAO Safety Report is made from investigation conducted by the organisation’s auditors concerning levels of compliance by individual member states all over the world.”
He said this explained why in the annals of Nigeria’s history, less than 24 hours after the crash, the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIB) has commenced investigation into the Associated airline crash in Nigeria; flight recorders recovered were being downloaded at the Bureau’s newly installed flight laboratory at its Abuja headquarters where the readout of the recorders had commenced.
Dati added that the new management at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) would not change the existing system at the regulatory authority overnight but would need a little time to bring the desired change in the agency.