News / Africa

Nigeria Crash Stirs Political, Economic Fallout

The wreckage of the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, June 6, 2012.The wreckage of the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, June 6, 2012.
x
The wreckage of the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, June 6, 2012.
The wreckage of the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, June 6, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
Heather Murdock
ABUJA - Nigerian authorities have identified 52 of the bodies from the plane crash in Lagos that killed all 153 passengers on board and at least six people on the ground. The government has suspended the license of Dana Air, promised to audit every airline in Nigeria and punish anyone responsible for wrongdoing. Analysts say this government's credibility and its ability to implement key policies are eroding in the aftermath.

Nigeria ended three days of national mourning Wednesday for the crash of Dana Air flight 992, which crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Lagos, killing everyone on board and several people on the ground.

Assigning blame

Aviation Minister Stella Oduah says air traffic control records indicate the plane went down after its engines failed:

"From records of communication and radar tracking, the flight went smoothly until 3:42 pm when the captain called air traffic control at Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos declaring mayday. Mayday is a distress call. And reported a dual engine failure," said Oduah.

The flight's black box has been sent to the U.S. to try to determine what made the engines fail. In Nigeria remains the real question, who is to blame?

Nigeria has a notoriously poor air safety record, with 110 recorded air crashes since 1943, killing nearly 1,500 people.

 

Here are some of the more notable recent air disasters. 

 

 

  • October 29, 2006: An ADC Airlines flight crashes and burns just after take-off from Abuja. 96 killed.


  • September 17, 2006: A Nigerian Air Force plane carrying high-ranking officers crashes in Benue. At least 6 killed.


  • December 10, 2005: A Nigerian Sosoliso flight crash lands in Port Harcourt. At least 106 killed including more than 50 schoolchildren.


  • October 22, 2005: Nigerian Bellview Airlines jet crashes just after take-off from Lagos. 117 killed.


  • May 4, 2002: Nigerian EAS Airlines jet crashes in Kano. At least 148 killed.


  • September 26, 1992 Nigerian Air Force C-130 crashes just after taking off from Lagos. More than 150 killed.


Speculation can be found on street corners all over Nigeria, the airline must be bribing someone to pass safety checks. The company knew the plane was bad, but wanted to make a profit.  

One newspaper reported that some company managers have since fled the country, citing unnamed and unverifiable sources.

Dana Air says the plane went through strenuous safety checks before taking off, pointing out that a commercial airline crew would not embark on a "suicide mission."  

Dana Air is a four-year-old company and part of the Dana Group, a Nigeria-based organization that has sold pharmaceuticals since the 1980s and now also sells food, cars, medical equipment and other products in addition to operating the now-grounded airline.   

Government backlash

Bello Ibrahim Turkin Gwandu, a political analyst and former managing director of the Nigerian Port Authority, said it is possible that the crash was purely an accident, but the Nigerian people have seen a lot of carnage in recent years, and they will ultimately blame the government.

"It's coming at a period where morale is very low as a result of previous event that happened with Boko Haram and some activities that were against other religions and the considerable amount of social tension that is happening especially with regards to security," said Ibrahim.

Opposition politicians have pounced on the disaster, saying it is a direct result of mismanagement and corruption. Ibrahim adds that regardless of the cause, the crash erodes the government's credibility, which is already suffering from increased security threats and the fact that average people are getting poorer despite an economy that is growing larger.

Aderemi Oyewumi, an international relations specialist on the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper, says without a "holistic" approach at restoring faith in the airlines, the crash could harm the government's ability to attract international investors, a key tenet of the government's economic policy.

"Nigerians should expect heads should roll in the aviation industry and that the government should get really serious about monitoring the airlines, making sure the aircrafts that they have are properly maintained and cutting down on graft in the sector," Oyewum said.

Foreign nationals lost in the crash of what was a domestic flight between Abuja and Lagos include Chinese, French, Lebanese, Canadians and Americans. President Goodluck Jonathan visited the site Monday, and has since ordered a technical audit of all the airlines in the country.

"I'm here with members of the National Assembly, and we will thoroughly investigate this, and the technical team will carry out their responsibility to tell us what went wrong," Jonathan said.

On Wednesday, the president vowed to investigate the "remote and immediate" causes of the crash and punish anyone found responsible. He also promised support to the transport sector, saying the crash was a "regrettable setback" to the government's plans to expand air travel in and through Nigeria.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George from: Las Palmas, Spain
June 08, 2012 6:45 AM
In a few years , Nigeria will be 100 years OLD!. "In the abundance of water we still go thristy" in Nigeria...Saving monies when you do not have good roads, your Universities are crumbling, A country of 160 million citizens and there is no rail mass transit system you can count on, never expect electricity supply and the list goes on. Then there is the issue of persons who have turned the public treasury into their private estate, and Boko Haram with their madness.
Mr. Jonathan is MICRO MANAGING the country, Challenges from all direction and the administration seems paralised. 37 Billion dollars in reserve, and still Nigeria seems overwhelmed by solvable problems. What are the ministers there for, what are they doing to help Mr. President? I just pray that the President will find the courage to clean his administration of incompetent pen pushers. We need a functional country in every sense of the word.


by: Robert Yuna from: USA
June 07, 2012 9:43 PM
Dana Air is NOT an Indian-owned company. Wholly owned and registered Nigerian.


by: Obi from: Lagos
June 07, 2012 6:43 PM
Why won't you tell us that Dana is an INDIAN OWNED COMPANY?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid