Nass To Sanction Erring Aviation Personnel

A Report of the Senate and House of Representative Joint Committee on Aviation: ‘Crash of
Dana and Allied Aircraft was presented by the Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation,
Sen. Hope Uzodinma. The report exposed the many flaws of the aviation industry leading to
such aviation mishaps and loss of lives. Many Senators reacted to the report which exposed
problems such as unqualified professionals in the aviation sector inspecting the aircrafts
and approving them for flight when in actual fact they are not fit for the purpose.
Sen. Victor Lar, was among the many Senators who bare their voices to this very important
report by applauding the Committee on Aviation on the content of their report. He added
that the Senate needs to insist that the right procedures be followed in the Aviation
sector, citing the problem of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) headed by an
unqualified Director General whose incompetence were confirmed by no fewer than four plane
crashes in his tenure. Sen. Jafere Abdulkadir congratulated the Committee on the report,
and warned about powerful interests who will go to any length to ensure that the contents
of the report are not implemented. He hoped in general that the Executive will learn to
adopt Senate Resolutions at all times.
Sen. Ayogu Eze expressed sadness over some of the facts in the report, which he explained
revealed flaws right from the very foundation of the Aviation Industry, An indication that
it is by the sheer ‘grace of God’ that keeps Nigerians alive when they fly. The report
gave reasons why the Aviation Industry is so flawed due to the presence of unqualified
persons working as Aircraft Inspectors. The report provides an opportunity to put the
Aviation Industry on the right track for possible growth.

Sen. Ndume Ali a member of the Senate Aviation Committee, spoke about the challenges
encountered in holding public hearing which was a part of the process of gathering
information for this report,  which include an attempt to prevent any Pilots from
participating in the public hearing. He called on his colleagues to stand by this report
even when confronted outside by Nigerians as he foresees such public interest in this
particular report.
Sen. Uzodinma later explained to the Chambers that some Pilots were interviewed in a
closed door session because the Pilots were threatened on speaking on the matter thus they
could not participate in the public hearing.
Sen. Uche Chukwumerije said that the report points to an industry that is a ‘disaster
waiting to happen’ and in fact this has already started happening referring to the many
crashes. He expressed dismay over one of the findings of the report that crash
investigations are never completed or publicised since 2005, a pattern he fears is
repeating itself with the 2012 Dana crash. He expressed disappointment over the fact that
Dana is flying when there is inconclusive investigation on their crash.
Sen. Adamu Abdulahi suggested that the Senate should publish the report in newspapers so
that Nigerians who elected them can be aware of what is happening in the Aviation
Industry. ‘The level of insensitivity is too much,’ he said as he reacted to the Dana
airlines being allowed to fly irrespective of on going investigation.  Sen. Attai Ali
described the report as ‘scary and damning’. He added that if similar scenario were to
occur in other countries, the  people indicted in such a report would have started
resigning even before the report was made public, however it is unfortunate that this was
not the case in Nigeria rather  such people in Nigeria will start defending themselves
thus pointing accusing fingers at others. He also added that the individuals indicted in
this report should be charged for ‘man slaughter’. He also expressed sadness over a
situation where the Senate does a thorough report and the Executive arm discards the
Sen. Chris Ngige said this report is an example of how corruption has eaten deep into our
system. Corruption is what allowed all of these flaws in the system including allowing
unqualified people to practice undetected and Nigerians will continue to suffer due to
corruption.  ’If we are serious the Executive will be serious about this report too,’ he
stated.  Other senators who contributed to the debate were Sen. Andy Uba and Deputy Senate
Leader, Ahmed Abdul Ningi who both applauded the work of the Committees.
The Senate President, David Mark in his closing remark on the debate clarified that the
NCAA DG’s performance is an issue and not his qualification. However he observed that the
joint report emphasized on the DG’s qualification. The Senate President commended the
committee over the report as a whole.
The Senate thus recommended that Dana be stopped from flying, Engineer Suleiman who did
the inspection on the Dana plane which eventually crashed should be dismissed,
investigative reports of past crashes such as ‘Sosoliso’ and ‘Bellview’ Airlines be made
public, the Aircraft model plane MB-83 will not be banned in Nigeria as more investigation
must be done on the air worthiness of this breed the of the Aircrafts as a whole along
with over ten recommendations from the report. The Senate also rejected the
recommendation to pump in more money into the Aviation sector in the form of an
intervention fund.

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