The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) plans to raise about N50 billion in the next five years from the no-fault insurance scheme embarked upon for compensation of relatives of future air crash victims.
Under the scheme, passengers travelling on domestic routes would be required to pay a token, which would be included in their air fares, but would be collected in the same way passenger service charge (PSC) is collected by the aviation agencies.
Director-General of NCAA, facilitators of the scheme, Dr. Harold Demuren, said although the agency had put in place safety measures to prevent further air disasters, the scheme was put together place, to compensate victims' relations in the event accidents occur.
Demuren explained that the programme had been adopted in many countries of the world as a way of providing succour to relatives of those who died or were seriously injured in air accidents.
He however added that the scheme did not negate the insurance that should be paid by airlines involved in a crash, but would complement the $100, 000 stipulated by the law to be paid by the airlines.
Demuren clarified: "The airlines will still be doing their own. The money we get, $100,000 is very little. What will that do? In the US there are schemes that you can have so that you can make more money in case if there is accident. Also if you are travelling in Europe, you can buy additional insurance, just on your own. Some can buy up to $1 million in case anything happens".
He added: "What we are saying is that when you buy your ticket; the little amount of money, whether it is N500 on top, can be used to go into another pull of compensation that will be there, but this time it will be managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Insurance Commission, Ministry of Aviation and NCAA."
The NCAA boss assured that the scheme would be implemented immediately so that collection and savings of the funds would commence.
Providing further clarification, he said: "The NCAA can work with the people and bring the money out. The Ministry can choose a bank that will manage it properly under the supervision of CBN. We will use this system we are using to collect our PSC, to collect the money at source. It is a good programme; other countries have done that, so that as to give additional source of funds to their people".
Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) Dr. Steve Mahonwu, commended the NCAA for the initiative, noting that it would provide succour to passengers. "It is a good programme, but it is a change and you know, people resist change, but this one should be fully supported because it is for the benefit of all the passengers", he stressed.