Air Crashes: The Corruption Challenge

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Except urgent steps are taken, high level corruption in the aviation industry, coupled with stifling charges imposed on airline operators by regulatory authorities, may lead to the total collapse of the sector

By MUYIWA LUCAS

Olusegun Agagu, former minister of aviation and former governor of Ondo State, may be lying peacefully in his grave, but the circumstances surrounding his death and burial will remain the talk of the town for a long time. In particular, that the plane that was carrying his remains to Akure, the Ondo State capital, for its final trip to Iju Odo, his hometown, crashed in Lagos proved to be a double tragedy too harrowing to believe.

For many, such an incident remains unheard of in aviation history; yet for others, especially pundits in the sector, the ill-fated flight of Associated Airline aircraft number 5N-BJY conveying Agagu’s corpse on board is a reflection of the rot that has eaten deep into the sector. While the former minister, in death, is oblivious of the filthy worms being unearthed in the nation’s aviation sector, where he once presided, the development has opened up once again the stench emanating from the industry.

Although Stella Oduah, minister of aviation, is making frantic efforts to convince Nigerians that her ministry is working tirelessly to transform the sector, her description of the latest crash as an act of God has drawn the ire of many. To them, it is a reflection of the mindset of the policymakers in the sector.

However, emerging revelations from the magazine’s investigation have so far shown that the crash is actually a reflection of the deep-seated sleaze in the industry, which stakeholders insist cuts across the aviation agencies and the airlines.

From the airlines to the regulators, it is a story of festering corruption. …

Source: TELL Magazine – News

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