By Patience Saghana
The management of Fin Insurance Company has challenged air passengers on the need for insurance following the increasing air travels and traffic.
Glory Etaduovie, Deputy General Manager, Business Development/Operations, Fin Insurance, gave this charge during a chat with correspondents in Lagos. He said that people must always bear it in mind that travelling by air is risky and that such risks can only be handled by arranging proper insurance cover.
He said â€œNigeria is presently experiencing increasing air travels and traffic. In a sense, it is the effects of improved economic development, even though at a slow pace. Albeit, some persons fly because of the need to manage time effectively in view of their very tight schedules; many other flights are sponsored on official duties by organisations. Yet, for others, it is a class thing. In all, we are witnessing increased air travels.â€ In a situation where so many people are always in the air, he said this has lot of implications for the airlines, passengers, regulatory bodies and the government, especially as air travels are risky.Â â€œFor travelers, it means hanging on the balance all of oneâ€™s lifeâ€™s investments â€“ family, dependants, aspirations, love and what have you. Â Air crashes can and have happened a time and again leading to so much pain and anguish. The planes have no landing or parking spots once airborne â€“ except by miraculous landing. Air accidents are fatalistic.
Few if any are survivors,â€ he noted. In a third world like Nigeria, Etaduovie pointed out that
the death of a bread winner has serious implications for the dependants and relatives of the deceased, adding that â€œwhen you see people wail the dead, it is not just out pour of emotions for the dead loved one, but a lot of questions are in those tears. Who will now fend for us?Â How will the children continue their schooling? Who will pay our rents?â€
He further said that â€œIt is for this, the world and the aviation industry agreed, with involvement of governments that adequate insurances â€“ especially for passengers be put in place for minimum amounts.
The effect of this is that, the wailing for the dead may be short- lived and the survivors of the deceased can get back to living their lives with minimal distraction. In view of the social implications of air crash for people and the government, he stated that the government should be interested in the enforcement of the IATA (International Air Travels Association) rules on predetermined international agreements for air travels â€“ including insurances that must exist. Whereas the American government has negotiated even higher compensations for their citizens, He lamented that the enforcement of
IATA rules in Nigeria is weak and probably fraudulent, as dependents of some air crash in the country are yet to receive their insurance claims because some of the airline wangle their way through
with inadequate insurances in place.
He also identified the problem of ignorance among the populace as another major challenge, noting that â€œThe travelling public is not
aware of this need. It is selling point airlines who are consciously arranging their insurance. They should make bold to advertise it or call attention to it. Travelers should make it a point of duty to be
interested in this. In life there are controllable factors and the uncontrollable.Â We should thus be interested in the controllable. Besides, he called on the Consumer Protection Council to be alive to
its responsibilities in this regard, saying the council should show active interest in this, so as to keep all on their toes. By so doing, he said there will be reduction in the number of resultant economically dependent widows/ children with no one provider and probable delinquents thereof.