Plane crashes imminent, Senate warns

The Senate on Thursday warned of imminent plane crashes in the country if the aviation industry was not fixed immediately.

The alert followed a motion tagged “Disturbing Development in the Nigerian Aviation Industry” by Sen. Dino Melaye.

Contributing to the motion, the Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, said that the fear of plane crashes was real as airlines could no longer access foreign exchange to service their aircrafts.

He said that some operators may resort to cutting corners as a result of their inability to access foreign exchange, thereby endangering the lives of air travellers.

Akpabio added that many airlines in the country were bankrupt “and dead’’, stressing that other operators had either withdrawn or relocated to neighbouring countries.

“These problems are caused by policies of government. Monetary policies of government have not allowed the airlines to operate.

“Section 14(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended says that government must ensure the security and welfare of the people.

“We are likely to have a spectre of crashes because most airlines cannot access foreign exchange to service their aircrafts,” he noted.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, said that withdrawal of airlines from Nigeria’s aviation industry was a bad omen which may lead to massive job losses.

“A situation whereby airlines cannot send back their money to their home countries is a disaster. Competition becomes less and the few left will charge as they want.

“It is embarrassing that airlines have to go and refuel in Ghana,” he said.

After the debate, the senate resolved to assist the Federal Government in its planned intervention in the current challenges in aviation sector with a view to saving the travellers.

The upper legislative chamber also urged the government to ensure that all operators who would benefit from the intervention would not increase fares arbitrarily.

The lawmakers urged the Federal Government to prevail and insist that airlines used the Naira as the official currency in all transactions in the industry.

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Nigerian Senate

  • real

    stupid lawmakers, you are the lawmakers, how about to do proactive things to solve the problem. Nigeria airlines needs massive amount of forex to go maintain their airlines in other countries. what has the government done to bring that maintenance within our border. Also the regulators in Nigeria continue to force airlines to over maintain their planes, which cost more forex. For our stupid lawmakers to be ashamed that airlines are refueling in Ghana, because our government can figure out how to refine the fuel we need locally.

  • sammy728

    They are only talking because it directly affect them. Going back and forth from their home state to Abuja. Poor man suffer a lot everyday when you a busy looting all the money for development. Who cares! if there is no plane to carry you wakaabout. My advise, Plane pool among your fellow looters who have private jet. When you fix food and infrastructure deficit, we can talk about air plane for your travel. Right now it’s the least on the priority of the new Sheriff in town PMB.