By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna -The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday suspended indefinitely the operating license of DANA Airways, owners of the MD 83 aircraft which crashed into residential buildings in Iju- Ishaga area of Lagos on Sunday, killing all 153 people on board and many more on ground.
The Federal Government, according to the Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, took the step as part of the safety precautionary measures, saying no responsible government will fold its hands while its citizens perish.
Speaking though, her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Joe Obi, the Minister explained that this is the first of series of steps to be taken by government to sanitize the aviation industry.
The indefinite suspension of DANA Air’s operating license comes just as anxiety heightens about a major shake-up in the sectors regulatory body.
The two chambers of the National Assembly had earlier at separate sittings suspended all flights by DANA fleet pending the outcome of investigation into the crash.
Also, the Director General of the Civil Aviation regulatory body, Dr. Harold Demuren has also been asked to proceed on suspension pending the conclusion of investigations into the Sunday air disaster.
The MD-83 jet crash has prompted an outpouring of national anger. Meanwhile’ DANA’s Director of Flight Operations,Oscar Wilson, DANA’s said the plane had no mechanical difficulties before it crashed. “There was nothing wrong with the aircraft,” he said. So far, about one hundred and sixty bodies have been recovered from the crashed DANA plane. These include passengers aboard the ill-fated air craft, some occupants of the affected buildings and others around the neighbourhood.
The US-made plane was 22 years old, despite a ban on flying airlines operating aircrafts older than 20 years in Nigeria. Airlines, maintenance in the sector is also believed not rigorous, DANA has had its license suspended at some point since it commenced operations in 2008.