"In saner climes, someone would have resigned for the sheer incompetence of how this issue was handled"
It was with great shock that we read headlines last week in the media that Major airlines found it difficult to take off and land in Nigeria. Headline like: Emirates Suspends Flights to Lagos, Hundreds of Nigerians Stranded in Ghana, were splattered all over CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and local Nigerian news websites.
The most Dramatic was the announcement by Dubai-based mega carrier, Emirates Airlines, that they would stop flight operations to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Lagos until the “weather improves”. This fog had affected flights for two weeks before public outcry forced a statement from the Aviation Minister and the Airports Authority.
This is a perennial issue in Nigeria, as harmattan season reduces visibility all over the country, it’s not like this is a new development that prevented planning. Flights were diverted to Accra, Cotonou, and other neighboring countries. It’s unacceptable. Also unacceptable are the “reasons” we were given by the Federal Airports Authority, minister of Aviation and the management at MMA. Here are the “reasons” posted on twitter: https://twitter.com/FAAN_Official/status/1228613105938292739?s=20
Then we had this statement from Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who confirmed the resumption of international flights to Lagos Airport in a statement signed by his Director, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, said: “so far 12 flights have landed on the international airport Runway 18 R (Right) while on the domestic Runway 18 L (Left) 13”.
While appreciating the understanding of those affected by the unfortunate situation, he assured of the “government’s determination and commitment to the protection of Nigerian travelers at all times”.
According to Odaudu, “The Minister also reiterates that the diversions and cancellations as a result of highly inclement weather conditions are not peculiar to Lagos or Nigeria, but a global phenomenon, as even the most developed nations of the world have been experiencing same, resulting from weather vagaries”.
In saner climes, someone would have resigned for the sheer incompetence of how this issue was handled, politicians at every level would be calling for hearings into the matter. But, what do you have? Crickets. Not a damn thing. Instead, we are treated to headlines like these today: MMIA Resumes Normal Flight Operations. After Days Of Disruptions, Normal Flight Operations Resume At The Murtala Muhammed Airport.
These issues will persist in Nigeria when no one takes responsibility for screw ups of this magnitude. Nigeria should not be diverting flights because of harmattan. Or a lack of the proper equipment. There are harmattan conditions in Ghana, yet they are able to operate fine.
"The most Dramatic was the announcement by Dubai-based mega carrier, Emirates Airlines, that they would stop flight operations to Murtala Muhammed Inte"
There are harmattan conditions in Ghana, yet they are able to operate fine.