Nigeria has banned the flying or purchase of the Boeing 737 Max 8 airline into any part of the country, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia.
Minister of State-Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the disclosure on Wednesday, while briefing Journalists on decisions reached at this week’s cabinet meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buihhari.
Sirika said: “Regarding the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 that has been in the news recently. Yesterday I twitted that there is no cause for alarm as presently there is no operator in Nigeria that is using the airplane and the civil Aviation Authority, whose mandate it is to issue advisory has issued the same advice that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using the 737 Max, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer of the aircraft.
“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out. So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out.
“Regarding Air Peace and Arik orders, whether those orders were confirmed or intent, it is to our knowledge in the Ministry of Aviation that they won’t be in the country until the next two years or so. And this is enough periods to sort out whatever problem it is with that plane. The world of aviation will not be sleeping just as we in Nigeria will not be sleeping. And it is normal standard practice that once a particular aircraft type is involved in accident back to back, it is withdrawn from the market to see if there is something they are doing wrong. And if it is confirmed that a particular problem say for instance, landing gear, they will issue an instruction to ground such plane worldwide until the problem is fixed. So, this case is not different. We pray for the souls of the departed and pray that the industry will continue to be safe and secure.”
The Minister promised travellers that the authorities in Nigeria are alive to their responsibilities which includes to secure lives and properties.