Senators yesterday called for the resignation of the Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Oduah, citing frequent air crashes under her watch.
They said Nigeria had witnessed a record of seven fatal air mishaps with two averted within the last two and a half years.
The senators were speaking on a motion on last week's crash of Associated Airlines aircraft in Lagos which killed 13 people. Two others died later in hospital.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said, "In sane places when things happen people take responsibility and resign. Others commit suicide for the failure of their subordinates."
Senator SmartAdeyemi (PDP, Kogi) said investigation he conducted in Lagos for three days revealed that the aircraft was on a "test flight" which was why there were many aircraft engineers onboard.
"Somebody might have thought of making quick money. Some times in this chamber we must speak the truth. Corruption is responsible for the air crashes in Nigeria," he said
Senator Oluremi Tinubu (ACN, Lagos) said it was irresponsible of the minister to frighten Nigerians that accidents were inevitable.
"Why should she say so? It's scaring. Does that mean that each time we travel we will be afraid? This should be investigated and we should stop playing politics with the lives of people and address the issues."
Senator Jibrilla Mohammed Bindo (PDP, Adamawa), said it was embarrassing for the aviation minister to say that air mishaps are inevitable because "she doesn't know what it takes to be a minister, she should resign".
Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba (PDP, Bauchi) who also argued that Oduah has no business remaining in office after witnessing seven air crashes under her tenure as a minister.
Senator Olu Adetumbi (APC, Ekiti) said, "It is time to speak the truth to power because we are tired of this obscene media propaganda about achievements in the sector just to promote the government and the minister while we keep having crashes every day.
"Physical infrastructure is a good thing but that is not a good reform, rug carpets and tiles do not make the reform of aviation, it has to do with the people who manage the sector and the procedures."
Senator Ita Enang (PDP, Akwa Ibom) said, "She concentrated on the infrastructure and the aesthetic of the airports and not on quality and standards of aircrafts flying which is given the least attention. They are more interested in awarding contracts, it's good to have tiles, granites and marbles, flashy flat screens and new roofs but is that what aviation is all about?"
However, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki (PDP, Kwara), said the greatest respect the Senate can give to those who lost their lives in the air crash is to prevent such from happening again by holding those responsible accountable.
Senator Joshua Dariye (LP, Plateau), reminded his colleagues that they threw out a bill he sponsored which sought to compel the president to nominate ministers with their portfolio which would have ensured that only experts and professionals in aviation are appointed as ministers but not accountants.
The Senate mandated the aviation committee to investigate the crash as well as to summon the minister for questioning.
The Minister's office however said yesterday it was not aware the Senate was calling for her resignation.
The minister's S.A Media Joe Obi told Daily Trust on phone, "The one I am aware is that she should appear in plenary before them, I am not aware of the call for her resignation, I am aware that at plenary they made some comments. I cannot comment on that.