NLI Inaugurates Safer Skies Initiative to Make Flying Safer in Nigeria
The Nigerian Leadership Initiative has inaugurated the Safer Skies Initiative to mark the second anniversary of the Dana Air crash in Lagos.
The initiative, developed by NLI’s Future Leaders class 2013, is an online portal, where the individuals can report incidents at airports that may indicate that certain aircraft may be faulty or that an airline operator had flouted air safety rules.
The Chief Executive Officer of NLI, Mr. Yinka Oyinlola, said the initiative was the organisation’s way of taking action to help improve safety for an estimated two million passengers that use commercial airlines in the country in a year.
Oyinlola said the Dana Air crash on June 3, 2012, which claimed about 153 lives, spurred the NLI to take on the project, with the hope of preventing further air crashes in the country.
He said, “We are doing this because we know that for Nigeria to move forward, Ghanaian, Togolese, and other foreigners will not come to do it for us. It’s a duty for us to move Nigeria forward. We thought and analysed the problems of Nigeria and we decided to take action. We believed that if one life is saved from future plane crashes in Nigeria, through this initiative, we would have achieved a lot.
“It’s a portal, where people can anonymously or identifiably report incidents that indicate there may be something wrong with an aircraft. For instance, on the portal someone can say, ‘I was at the Abuja airport, I saw some airline officials struggling with an aircraft and the passengers have been on-board for over an hour. The name of the airline is this and the flight is taking off from this city to that city.’ If we see a consistency in the reports, then it’s our obligation to take action.”
He said with complaints on the portal, NLI would confront indicted airline operators and if it did not get any result, it would approach the regulators and then the Consumer Protection Council, and if necessary, the National Assembly.
“You have to be sufficiently angered to drive change. That Dana crash angered us. That’s why we have done this. It could be the baggage handler at the airport who can decide to be the whistleblower based on the information he got from the flight engineer or the crew. We need only one report for us to take action,” he said.
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