Nigeria’s federal government is concerned over the recent spate of accidents involving Dana Airlines and has ordered a comprehensive audit of the carrier.
The federal government came to the decision after an exhaustive seven-hour Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House in the nation’s capital of Abuja.
In a span of two weeks, Dana Airlines was at the center of two near-tragic air incidents.
The first one was when the door of one of its aircraft fell off after landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on February 8.
The second happened on February 21 when another aircraft of the said airlines overshot the runway and rammed into the bush at the Port Harcourt airport.
Clearly not waiting for a disaster to happen, the FEC quickly ordered an audit of the airline, whose aircraft tragically crashed on June 3, 2012. All 153 passengers and crew onboard perished in that disaster.
The audit was ordered to determine the true condition of the airline and its capability to maintain safe operations.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, revealed that the council spent a lot of time, discussing the subject, as it was extremely concerned about the situation.
Shehu went on to say that although the council took note of the sanction that was slapped on the pilot and engineer of the aircraft involved in the Port Harcourt incident, it still mandated an audit of the airline in the key areas of manpower, and operational and technical capacity.
The audit’s result would go a long way in determining the fate of the carrier that is owned by Indian-owned Dana Group.
“A lot of quality time was spent discussing air safety. The government of Nigeria is very much concerned about safety and the life of Nigerians. This is following the recent air incidents.
“Minor as they were because they were no fatalities, the government did feel concerned and the minister presented the report to the council on steps that were taken following the last incident in Port Harcourt when the Dana aircraft overshot the runaway.
“As soon as that happened, within a few seconds, a rescue team was there on the ground and a few moments thereafter, every passenger on board was evacuated.
“There was no harm to persons and this is something that should be celebrated.
“Within 24 hours, an official investigation had commenced because investigators arrived in Port Harcourt and began work. One week after that, a preliminary report was prepared and it was about this that the council was briefed.
“Consequently, as announced by the aviation authorities, the engineer and pilot of that particular aircraft got their licenses suspended and beyond that, the government has ordered a complete audit of Dana Airlines in terms of personnel, operational and technical capacity.”