Plane crash averted in Kebbi
WHAT would have been a terrible accident involving 545 intending pilgrims from Kebbi State to Saudi Arabia was averted early yesterday by the pilot of the Boeing 747, a plane belonging to Max Air.
It was gathered that the aircraft with registration number N5-MBB developed serious technical problem that resulted in three abortive take-offs.
Though badly shaken by the experience, the pilgrims who disembarked from the faulty aircraft were grateful to Allah for what they described as a great miracle that to saved their lives. No casualty was recorded.
The state government has directed that the intending pilgrims be provided with hot meals while moves were being made to provide another aircraft to airlift them.
In a related development, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has ordered arrest and detention of four officials of the Hajj operation who were alleged to be involved in short-changing intending pilgrims of their Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA).
The governor gave the directive following complaints from 24 victims of sharp practices, many of whom are women. He raised a four-member committee headed by his Chief of Staff to ensure that those short-changed are refunded their money and the culprits appropriately sanctioned.
Meanwhile, in a bid to forestall frequent plane crashes in the country, the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) is taking steps to strengthen its standard operating procedure for enhanced performance. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with 15 universities in Nigeria to boost research and development in aircraft maintenance and other diverse areas of interest.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, made this known yesterday at the opening of the 2015 NAF Standards and Evaluation seminar in Abuja. “Once you have a sound standard and evaluation branch, people will be operating according to standards, you are not likely going to run into problems with safety,” he said.
According to Abubakar, safety is one of the core functions of the NAF and as such, all efforts are required to develop, implement, maintain and review strategies “to ensure that our operations are conducted within acceptable risk levels.
The administration places high premium on adherence to established norms and standards, therefore the achievements, failures in management functional system of the service and the identified problems as well as recommendations should be made for possible adoption.”
While noting that his vision for NAF includes promoting and inculcating the core value of integrity, excellence and service delivery, the CAS stated that accountability and prudent management of resources must be adhered to, as high value assets including personnel are entrusted to the various formations across the country.