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

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    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?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.