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How Air Peace failed to report near accident in Lagos – AIB

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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has accused Air Peace of failure to report accidents or serious incidents to the bureau at the exact time the incidents had occurred.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, made the disclosure in a statement signed in Lagos on Monday, NAN reports.

Oketunbi recalled that on Wednesday, the bureau received notification from a passenger onboard about a serious incident involving a Boeing 737-300 aircraft with Registration Mark 5N-BUK, belonging to Air Peace.

“It was reported that the said incident occurred on May 15, while the aircraft was on approach to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Port Harcourt.

“The aircraft was said to have experienced a hard landing as it touched down on the runway (18R).

“Upon receipt of the notification, AIB visited the airline office and confirmed the said occurrence. The Bureau further conducted a damage assessment on the aircraft, which revealed that the aircraft made contact on the runway with the starboard engine cowling, as obvious from various scrapes.

“Others are the scratches and dents, an evidence of tyre scouring on the sidewalls of the No. 4 tyre, as well as bottoming of the main landing gear oleo struts. There was also visible damage to the right-hand engine compressor blades,’’ he said.

Oketunbi noted that the aircraft had since been on ground, awaiting implementation of the hard landing inspections recommended by the aircraft manufacturer, the Boeing company.

According to him, this includes an inspection of the right-hand engine pylons and the wing root, due to the heavy impact concerns.

He said further discussions with the airline’s Maintenance Personnel revealed that CFM International, the engine manufacturer, had also been contacted with regard to necessary inspections, to ascertain the serviceability of the starboard engine.

Oketunbi said the nature of the damage suggests that there was a high probability of an accident, as captured in the definition of Serious Incidents in the bureau’s Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations, 2016.

According to him, an incident involving circumstances indicating that there was a high probability of an accident, and is associated with the operation of an aircraft.

He said of utmost concern was the fact that till date, the bureau had not received any notification of the incident: three weeks after the date of occurrence, contrary to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13 which guides the operations of aircraft accident investigation procedures.

Oketunbi said: “Rather, AIB further to the occurrence, received a submission of a Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) subsequently filed at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Friday, which filing was as a direct result of the bureau’s visit to the airline’s office on Thursday.

“An MOR is a Mandatory Occurrence Report that an Operator files after an occurrence to NCAA and it is not a notification to AIB as required by its Regulations.

“Similarly, and in recent times, an aircraft belonging to Air Peace was also involved in a serious incident and the airline willfully failed to comply with the provisions of the bureau’s regulations which provide that:

“Subject to paragraph (2) below and regulation 14 where an accident or a serious incident which results in the withdrawal from service of an aircraft occurs in or over Nigeria.

“No person, other than an authorised person, shall have access to the aircraft involved and neither the aircraft nor its contents shall, except under the authority of the AIB Commissioner, be removed or otherwise interfered with.

“Where it is necessary to move aircraft wreckage, mail or cargo, sketches, descriptive notes, and photographs shall be made if possible, of the original positions and condition of the wreckage and any significant impact marks.’’

He noted that precisely, on Dec. 14, 2018, a Boeing 737-300 belonging to the airline, with registration marks 5N-BUO, enroute Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu from Lagos was involved in a serious incident at about 10:44hrs, saying that the information only got to AIB through the social media.

Oketunbi said the airline’s Accountable Manager and Chief Pilot at the material time, were duly warned by the Bureau for non-compliance with the Regulations.

The general manager said based on all the foregoing, it was obvious that Air Peace Management lacks the full understanding of the statutory mandates, functions and procedures of the bureau.

Oketunbi noted that air accidents and serious incidents’ investigations were carried out in accordance with the relevant Laws and Regulations in force, in the interest of safety and with the aim of forestalling similar occurrences in the future.

“Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, which is the Act establishing the bureau, confers the prerogative to determine the classification of an accident or serious incidents on AIB.

“All airlines are therefore enjoined to report these occurrences at all times,’’ he said.

But reacting to the allegation, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema said that when the incident happened, the airline reported to the regulatory agency, NCAA and also wrote to Boeing and the manufacturer of the aircraft’s engine, CPM International.

“When the incident occurred, we reported it to NCAA. We followed the aircraft manual, which guided us on what to do when such incidents occurred.

“We wrote to Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer and also wrote to the engine manufacturer, CPM International. We also grounded the aircraft.

“We always report any incident to the NCAA and sometimes, you may not know what to report to AIB because the NCAA is the regulatory authority and the Bureau is in charge of accident investigation.

“So when incidents like hard landing happen and you inform NCAA, we feel we have followed the procedure.

“Boeing has written back to us and told us what to do. According to the procedure, some inspection is currently being carried out on the aircraft,” Onyema said.

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Bank customers start payment of charges for deposits, withdrawal of cash

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has given an order that customers making cash deposits or withdrawals will pay charges beginning from today in line with its new policy.

The objective of the “transaction fees” is to give vent to the Central Bank’s policy designed to reduce cash in use.

CBN Payments System Management Department Director Sam Okojere on Tuesday announced the take-off of the charges in a statement.

“The transactions will attract three per cent processing fees for withdrawals and two per cent processing fees for lodgments above N500, 000 for individual accounts.

“Corporate accounts will attract five per cent processing fees for withdrawals and three per cent processing fee for lodgments above N3 million.

“The charges will, however, only apply in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” he said.

Okojere said the implementation of the cash-less policy nationwide would take effect from March 31, 2020.

Also to further promote the cashless economy and to enhance the collection of applicable government revenues, the CBN announced a review of the process for merchant settlement.

The regulator has, effective today, approved for banks to unbundle merchant settlement amounts and charge applicable taxes and duties on individual transactions as stipulated by regulations.

Okojere announced a downward review of the Merchant Service Charge (MSC) from 0.75 per cent capped at N1,200 to 0.50 per cent capped at N1,000.

“The cash-less policy provides safe and efficient mechanisms for making and receiving payments with minimum risks to the CBN, payment service providers and end-users.

“The cashless payment is catching on to the extent that even the lowly members of the society now do transactions online.

“Without this policy, Nigeria cannot be integrated into the world’s financial system,” the statement read.

Pushing for the full use of the online payment system, the apex bank said for Nigeria to actively play at the world stage, “our payment system must be successfully benchmarked against the global best practices, as in most developed nations of the world.”

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The Americans will see attack on Saudi oil as an attack on them

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One of the two oil facilities struck in the early hours of Saturday morning was recently described by one industry expert as the the Achilles Heel of the Saudi oil industry.

Its size and production capacity makes it a critical part of the global oil supply industry.

It’s not yet clear how much damage was caused to the two plants or for how long production will be impacted, but the Saudi oil minister confirmed overnight a temporary loss of 5.7 million barrels per day of production because of the attacks.

For context, Saudi Arabia pumped 9.8 million barrels per day in August.

The Abqaiq plant was the target of a failed al Qaeda attack in 2006. Since then it has been heavily fortified but is still vulnerable from the air, especially from drones which can bypass air defence systems.

In terms of the impact on the global market and oil supply: well, short term there may be a problem which will become clear when the markets open on Monday morning.

But longer term the gap will probably be bridged by increasing production elsewhere and by releasing reserves into the market.

The much bigger concern now is the geopolitical fallout and the consequence for regional security.



Drone attacks targeted a major Saudi Aramco processing facility and oilfield in the kingdom's east

The US government is in no doubt that the Saudi drone attacks were the work of Iran.

The operation was claimed by the Yemeni Houthi rebel group but they are known to get weapons and technology from their main backer, Iran, who are suspected by other nations to use relatively low-tech ‘attack drones’ as weapons.

With cheap new technologies, small attack or ‘kamikaze’ drones are proving to be disproportionately effective when successful.

Two weeks ago, Israel carried out what they said was a preemptive strike on fighters they said were linked to Iran’s elite Quds Force who were preparing to launch a drone from Syria (where Iran now has a strong foothold) to attack Israel.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tehran had launched an “unprecedented attack on the world’s oil supply”, adding that there was “no evidence that the drones were launched from Yemen”.

It’s true that, geographically, the two oil refineries are closer to Iran and Iraq (where Iran has a foothold) than to Yemen.



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Who launched the drone attack against Saudi oil facilities?

The Americans have always blamed Iran for stoking the flames of the Yemen conflict. But the drone attack represents, in US government eyes, an attack on global energy supply which they’ll interpret as an attack on them.

“We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks,” Mr Pompeo tweeted. “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”

In such a chaotic and delicate region, an attack of this type is very dangerous.

Donald Trump has been hoping to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in his latest attempt at rapprochement (after limited success with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and no success with Afghanistan’s Taliban).

Last week he fired his national security adviser John Bolton who was calling for a much harder line on Iran.

While Mr Bolton sits out of office no doubt saying “I told you so”, President Trump must now be pondering the merits of the proposed meeting with the Iranian president.

His own secretary of state seems clear: “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy…”

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Vat Increase: Businesses In Lagos To Pay 12.2 Per Cent On Goods, Services

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Businesses in Lagos will pay 12.2 per cent on the sale of goods and services once the 7.2 per cent Value Added Tax increase comes into force.

An analyst with Afrinvest, Adedayo Bakare, pointed this to SaharaReporters on Wednesday during a chat.

The Lagos State Government had since collected tax from restaurants and other retailers under a sales tax law despite a Supreme Court ruling against such in September 2018.

Bakare while speaking with SaharaReporters, said, “In Lagos, consumption tax is already 10 per cent because Lagos State charges five per cent VAT and there is also another consumption tax of five per cent.

“So, for Lagos State, automatically, consumption tax is 12.2 per cent.”

Citing the data on VAT collection given by Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, in 2018, Bakare said only about four states were generating most of the VAT, adding that the tax burden on just a few is disproportionate.

“Meanwhile, when they generate all these money, they will share it between 36 states when most of the money is generated in just four states.”

While admitting that the hike in VAT was not wrong, Bakare said there was a more urgent need to keep widening the tax net.

He added, “It is important that they widen the tax net to bring more informal businesses to the formal sector.”

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