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When Prayer is not the Answer: How the Regulatory Bodies Failed!

By on June 4, 2012

It is on record that the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Autority (NCAA) and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) hosted a prayer session on March 17th, 2012 to mark five years of no air accident in the country.

Rev (Dr.) Titus Kolawole Oyeyemi, the leading religious official who hosted the prayers released a statement which reads, “I, Rev. (Dr.) Titus Kolawole Oyeyemi the Founding President and CEO of African Foundation for Peace and Love Initiatives (AFPLI) and members of the African Children of Peace Club (ACPC) feel truly blessed, and will so many Nigerians, the Presidency, the Senate, the Representatives, State Governors, Assembly men and women, that Nigeria, as a country could witness an airspace that was disaster free for five years! The Nigeria aviation industry has indeed broken a record as one of the safest airspace not only in Africa, but in the world for experiencing no airspace disaster from 2007 to 2012!”

He added, “I want us to remember that the children have been praying for airspace safety for five years, from March 11, 2007 till today without ceasing. The African Children of Peace Clubs, empathizing with the victims of the Sosoliso Crash of December 25, 2005, have taken up the mantle of prayers, petitioning the throne of Grace, and the Lord of Heaven has hearkened to their supplications, resulting in airspace free of disaster for five years.”

March was only a few short months ago, one begs to ask the following question, “Has the Lord refused to hearken unto their supplications?”

Our regulatory bodies are responsible for the crash and since God is not the Director General of the NCAA, neither is he the crocodile tear shedding Minister of Aviation, how can we expect him to do the jobs that they abandoned?

Ever since the present Minister of Aviation came into the mix, all we hear is how much can government and airlines tax travelers?; who is going to get contracts to renovate the airports?; FAAN-Maevis dispute; Will BA and Virgin pay multi-million dollar fines to government?; Are BA and Virgin over-billing Nigerians?

Nothing is heard about how the regulatory improvements to airline oversight and enhanced safety standards and policies. In the past one year there have been so many close-call accidents, with emergency landings in Abuja , Lagos and other places in the country. Nothing is being done, the regulator has looked the other way whilst expecting the prayer of children to sustain our aircrafts in the sky.

Stella Oduah whose Sea Petroleum and Gas company is involved in the downstream sector and has benefitted immensely from the Petrol subsidy Fund is a multi-billionaire many times over. She was one of President Jonathan’s senior campaign advisers and was compensated with the Minister of Aviation position.

What is her knowledge of the Aviation sector? Where is her experience in properly managing a sophisticated business, talkless of an entire Nation’s airline industry?

Not sure prayer will provide any sincere answer to the above questions. Yesterday she cried at the scene. Our government is crying, our people are dying and those still alive are praying. Heaven will not come to Nigeria and fix our problems for us.

Our regulators have failed because they are no technocrats, just politically exposed persons who secured juicy positions due to the nepotism and Nigerian political patronage system.

Prayer has nothing to do with it at this point. We need to get our house in order ourselves.


Niyi Ayiri wrote in from Lagos.