The Federal Government, has ordered an up-to-date audit of all airlines as part of measures to forestall another crash.
For that purpose, a nine-member Technical Committee and Administrative Review Panel, headed by an aeronautical engineer, Group Captain John Obakpolor (rtd) has been set up.
Other members of the panel are Captain Austin Omame, Capt Dele Sasegbon, Dr Obi Aliu, F.C Onyeyiri, Capt Mfon Udom, Capt Muhtar Usman, Dr Tony Anuforom and Capt A Mshelia.
The Tide learnt that the panel is expected to do a comprehensive assessment of all domestic airlines and recommend to the government actions that should be taken to improve safety.
It is also expected to assess the financial health line of airlines operating within Nigeria, with a firm assurance that not only would the panel’s report be made public, President Goodluck Jonathan has also vowed to take firm action when necessary.
Briefing reporters immediately after the special Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held in memory of the victims of flight 9j-922, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah said the committee, which has six months to complete its work was expected to come up with a comprehensive report on each of the airlines in the country.
On regulation, she said the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), will be strengthened. This, she said, includes the implementation of the Central Bank/Ministry of Aviation committee recommendations.
The minister, who hinted about moving the black box to the United States for analyses, said, “at the site of the incident, there were people with AIB t-shirts; they were gathering information.
“They cut the parts from the aircraft, looking for clues. The information they obtained will be taken back to the lab for analysis to get exactly the reason for the accident. But, in addition to that, because we do not have a laboratory for the black boxes, we need to take them outside the country for proper analysis.”
Mrs Oduah also assured of proper diagnosis of the cause of the crash. “I want to also say that among the team that worked with AIB, are international experts and so, you are not likely to have collusion or reports that will have integrity issue. So, I want to assure that the report we will get will be a very authentic report,” she said.
On the nine-man panel, she said, “Mr. President has graciously approved the names of those that will be part of the investigative panel. As you are aware, there are two investigative panels that will be going on simultaneously; one will use the other as a resource, based on aviation global best practices.
“We cannot redesign ours; we have to do it in line with what is obtainable in the aviation sector. And so, immediately an accident takes place in aviation, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) commences investigation.
The reason is to ensure that we don’t have a reoccurrence and so we are very preventive in aviation, not to have this happen again. But, most importantly, is to determine the cause of the accident.
“The economic regulatory aspect of NCAA will be strengthened to monitor domestic airlines on a regular basis. So, whenever we see signs that indicate danger, we will be able to either shut down the airline or take precautionary actions so that we don’t get into a very bad situation.”
On the recommendations of the CBN/ FMA, she said, there is an ongoing committee between the Ministry of Aviation, the CBN, commercial banks and other financial agencies. They are set in the first place to ensure that domestic airlines are restructured. They are coming out with their recommendations today and we have read a preliminary report and so we will implement it fully.
“Mr. President has granted us that approval and when this is done, all the local airlines will have a transformed structure. And we all know that the reason why most domestic airlines have problems is because the structures within which they are operating are very faulty. So, we are fixing that with this measure”.
The minister also said the crashed aircraft was not the one that was investigated over the concern raised by Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio. She said the aircraft involved is abroad for repairs.
Mrs Oduah assured Nigerians, “Air transportation is still the safest mode of transportation. Our airspace is very safe. I hear people say our airspace is not safe, that is not true; we have the safest airspace in the world; we are very safe. What happened has nothing to do with the safety nets of our air space. And so I want to assure Nigerians that what happened on Sunday will not reoccur, by the grace of God. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that we enhance our safety policies and procedures and we are doing that now to ensure that NCAA becomes stronger and their regulatory oversight is enhanced.
“With all the approvals we have got and with the transformation measures that is currently ongoing, in addition to institutional reforms that we started about a year ago, everything is on course. All these are to ensure we have safe aviation sector in Nigeria.
FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.
By: Akujobi Amadi
JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”
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