By Ben Agande
Abuja— President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, warned that where clear case of dereliction of duty is established against anybody or company that led to the crash of the Dana aircraft last Sunday, firm action would be taken against such persons.
In his remarks shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting, President Jonathan said his administration was prepared to take whatever action that might become necessary after the investigation to prevent the recurrence of air mishaps.
According to him, his administration is committed to improving the quality of the country’s aviation infrastructure with the overall goal of making air travel safer.
He said lives of all Nigerians and foreigners were precious to the administration and so would continue to do everything possible to protect lives and prevent avoidable deaths.
He said: “It is with a very heavy heart indeed that I address you today on this last day of national mourning for our fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, colleagues, associates, friends and fellow citizens who lost their lives in Sunday’s plane crash.
“While the official mourning period ends today, no one can doubt that the pain and anguish of the shocking, sudden and unexpected loss of highly valued lives in that horrendous plane crash will remain with us all long after this day has ended.
“My heart goes out to the immediate families of all the Nigerian and foreign victims of the crash. We continue to pray that God Almighty will grant them divine solace and consolation.
“As I said at the crash site on Monday, it is a highly regrettable setback to ongoing efforts to reposition our aviation sector and further enhance the safety record of Nigerian carriers which had improved significantly in recent years.
Improved quality of aviation infrastructure
“I wish to reaffirm our commitment to the improvement of the quality of our aviation infrastructure with the overall goal of making air travel safer. We will remain and stay firm on this commitment. At a time such as this when a tragedy of such proportion befalls the nation, we must strive even more to put in place those measures that can support air safety and other means of transportation.
“I have directed that the fullest possible investigation be undertaken into the remote and immediate causes of the crash with a view to ensuring that the proper lessons are learnt from it, and that going forward, every necessary measure is effectively implemented to enhance the safety of air travellers in Nigeria.
“In the past few days since the crash, our newspapers, airwaves, and social media have been awash with all manner of theories and speculations on the cause of the tragedy. I urge that there should be no rush to judgment.
“The lives of all Nigerians and foreigners in our country are precious to this administration. We will continue to do everything possible to protect lives and prevent avoidable deaths.
Investigation ‘ll be thorough
“I assure all Nigerians and the international community that the investigations which I have ordered will be very thorough. Let me warn that where clear dereliction of duty is established, firm action will be taken.
“This administration stands ready to take whatever action that may become necessary after the investigation to prevent the recurrence of air mishaps.
“We are a nation of highly resilient people; in time, we will surely overcome the collective trauma of Sunday’s plane crash in Lagos. However, we must never forget the many precious lives that were lost in that utterly devastating crash.
FG to review tariffs, taxes in aviation industry
“I invite all stakeholders in the sector to join hands with us in proactively implementing measures and undertaking actions that will ultimately benefit the entire industry and reassure the public.
“In addition to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/Federal Ministry of Aviation Committee on the strengthening of the financial stability and growth of domestic airlines, I have also directed the Coordinating Minister of the Economy/Minister of Finance, the Minister of Trade and Investment, the Governor of the Central Bank, and the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, to further look into our tariffs and other taxes as they relate to the aviation industry and come up with recommendations as to where we can further assist the sector.”