The lawmaker representing Lagos East in the upper chamber of the nation's legislature, senator Gbenga Ashafa, has commended government's swift response to the series of recent near mishaps in the aviation industry.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, also urged the Minister of State for Transport, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA), the Accident Investigation Bureau and other relevant authorities to continue to take the issue of aviation safety seriously, as the nation cannot afford to have any loose ends in the sector.
In a statement yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant to the lawmaker, Tope Atiba, said the steps already taken by the minister and his team, including his directives on the complete audit of Dana Airlines in terms of personnel, operations and technical capacity should be extended to other operators with the aim of having a holistic overview of the sector.
"Recently, I sponsored a motion on the need to minimise the possibility of air mishaps and near fatalities in Nigeria based on my genuine concern for the safety of the lives of Nigerians travelling by air regularly."In response to the motion, the Senate invited the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator, Hadi Sirika, to appear and brief it on the steps being taken to minimise human errors and avoid preventable air crashes in the sector.
"The Senate also urged the minister to immediately direct all relevant agencies in the industry to conduct a maintenance and airworthiness audit on all commercial aircrafts operating within the Nigerian Airspace," Ashafa said.
The lawmaker however, said that while the minister is yet to appear before the Senate, "I must commend the swift intervention of President Muhamadu Buhari and the determination to give the aviation sector the necessary attention, which was one of the focus of deliberations at the last Federal Executive Council Meeting (FEC)."
The lawmaker added that it is important that all arms of government should continue to synergies on issues that bother on safety, saying: "It is imperative to adopt collaborative approach to place necessary premium on the lives and wee being of the people."