Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday calmed the nerves of anxious Nigerians who were already developing sudden phobia for flying believing that Nigerian carriers operate the replica of the Ethiopian Airlines B737 Max 8 that crashed on Sunday killing people on board.
The Minister assured air travellers that there was no cause for worry as not a single Max 8 was in Nigeria’s aviation register.
Sirika, while acknowledging air accidents anywhere as a global tragedy to the aviation industry, said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had since issued the necessary advisory as it relates to the country.
He stated: “As we continue to mourn the ET crash in Addis, and pray for the victims, we wish to reassure Nigerians that we do not have any Boeing 737 Max on Nigeria’s register to worry about.”
He asked the Nigerian flying public not to entertain any fears, assuring them “of the unalloyed commitment of the Buhari administration to the creation of an environment that guarantees their safety and security in air transportation.”
Recall that two Nigerians, Prof, Pius Adesanmi, and a retired ambassador on contract with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Abiodun Bashua, were among the 149 passengers on board the plane.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed about six minutes after take-off from the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, en route the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
At least nationals of about 35 countries were involved in the disaster.
The black boxes comprising the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder of the crashed jetliner have since been retrieved from crash site for analysis.