Calls for Emergency Meeting on the use of Distress Beacon by Aircrafts in Nigeria
The Rescue officers of the National emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have retrieved the three bodies of victims of a crashed helicopter on a mountainous area of Ife Odan Village in Osun state.
The incident that occurred in Ife odan Osun State took the intervention of NEMA operation office from Lagos and Abuja who spent more than six hours trying to locate the helicopters after the initial alert sent by nomadic Fulani and hunters.
The helicopter which belonged to a private operator, OAS air Service had three passenger on-board, including a male pilot and two women.
The delay in locating the helicopter after the crash was due to malfunction of Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) Beacon which could have sent a distress alert to Mission Control Centre (MCC) of NEMA for accurate detection of the crash site.
Meanwhile the Director General of NEMA, Muhammed Sani-Sidi had sent an invitation to all airline and aircraft operators in Nigeria to an emergency meeting next on the use of 406 MHZ Beacon for the purpose of Cospas-Sarsat Alerting system. He said the agency finds it necessary and urgent to collaborate on the issue and take a clear position on the use of Emergency Locator Transmitters Beacon where it would be mandatory for any aircraft flying in Nigeria to install it.
Sani-Sidi said: “The Agency, in the light of the seriousness it attaches to safety in the country called for the emergency meeting to deliberate on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) mandate on the use of 406 MHZ Beacon. The recent crash as well as that of Beech Craft N364 UZ in Kaduna without receipt of any alert on NEMA’s Cospas-Sarsat was a serious threat to the Federal Government’s mandate on Aviation and Maritime Safety in particular and safety generally.”
Under the NEMA’s Act, the agency is mandated to monitor the state of preparedness of all organisation or agencies which contribute to disaster management in Nigeria.
Meanwhile the contractors handling Goronyo Dam in Sokoto which broke and overflew it banks last year have been directed to complete the rehabilitation of the project within 6 months.
The dam which caused a lot of flooding and damages in some states last year where National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)had to intervene with relief materials to displaced victims and other form of succour is currently being rehabilitated by Gilmor Construction Company.
The Minister of Water Resources Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe gave the directive today when she led FG delegation including NEMA and federal legislators to the dam site in Sokoto close to Niger Republic.
The Director General NEMA, Muhammed Sani-Sidi while lamenting the lost of lives and properties last year from the dam overflow that affected some states in the North said government is taking approprite measures to avoid another human disaster.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir who drew the attention of government to the plights of people living on the dam’s routes said the contractors must be compelled to speedy up its work and meet the deadline.