The House of Representatives has said it is set to proffer “lasting solutions” to the incessant air crashes experienced by the Nigerian Air Force since 2015, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has said.
Gbajabiamila spoke during a Investigative Hearing by the house Committee on Air Force on Monday.
“Regrettably, in recent times, the Nigerian Air Force has been witnessing incessant air crashes.
“Between the years 2015 and 2019, there have been at least eight air crashes in various Nigerian states that have endangered lives and property.
“As joint partners, we are determined to proffer lasting solutions to this problem.”
Gbajabiamila said the committee would meet with NAF to investigate the causes of crashes and recommend actions to forestall future occurrences.
The speaker also said that the committee would examine the level of financial loss suffered by the country, insurance cover for the personnel and other matters that could lead to ending such disasters.
He said the committee would report back to the house after the completion of the investigation.
The committee Chairman, Rep. Shehu Koko, said the hearing was pursuant to a motion titled “Need to Investigate the Incessant Non-Combatant Related Air Crashes by the Nigeria Air Force”.
Koko said the committee was poised to achieve the desired result by unravelling the circumstances surrounding the frequent crashes with a view to nipping such incidences in the bud.
The chairman also recalled that the crashes occurred from 2015 to 2019.
“On Aug. 29, 2015, Nigeria Air Force Dornier 228 crashed in Kaduna. Similarly, on Oct. 10, 2015, the F-7NI crashed with one casualty, while on Nov. 15, 2016 in Makurdi, Augusta Westland 101 Helicopter crashed.
“In Jan. 2, in Damasak, Borno, the NAF Ml-35M helicopter crashed with five casualties, and on June 12, another NAF helicopter crashed in Katsina Airport with one casualty.
“Also, on Aug. 17, NAF Air Beetle Aircraft crashed in Kaduna, and recently on Nov. 14, the NAF helicopter crashed in Enugu. The list is not encouraging.”
“We therefore set to find out the problems and proffer lasting solution to stop it for the future of the military and the safety of our personnel.”
In his address, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said NAF would cooperate to forestall such incidences in the future.
“I am delighted that in addition to recognising the enormous contributions of the force, today you have looked at other areas we are having some drawbacks.
“I think that is the right direction to follow and I want to say the government is doing everything to support us and we, in the Air Force, will do everything humanly possible to ensure we fly safe.
“We are ready to give all the information you require to make our country greater.”
The committee, however, continued in a closed door session