Abuja - Some bereaved families of the June, 3, 2012, Dana plane crash on Monday urged the Federal Government to intervene on issues regarding the payment of compensation.
Representatives of the families told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the unveiling of cenotaph by President Goodluck Jonathan that many of the victims’ families had yet to be paid.
They prayed the Federal Government step in to ensure that the compensations due the families were paid before the end of the year.
Mr Ojo Olugbenga, a family member to one of the victims, said that the Aviation minister was claiming that there were legal battles holding the payment.
"The government can intervene by giving an ultimatum on the time frame when the insurance company should pay the claims.
"By so doing, any pending cases in the court, between the family members and other delays will be addressed in order for the compensations to be paid.
"It is sad enough that we lost our family members; it weakens our minds to keep remembering the incident by having to pursue the insurance company for the compensation," he said.
Mrs Grace Mbong, the wife to one of the crash victims, said that the family had waited long but nothing had been paid to her family.
"I was weighed down by the news at the initial stage; I was also discouraged by the way the people are telling us to go and come back.
"Even when we went to the Dana office in Lagos and showed the necessary documents, nothing was done; but they kept calling us and encouraging us not to give up," she said.
Dr Andrew Editan, another family member also urged the government to appeal to the Dana airline’s insurance company handling the claims to speed up the process.
Mr Ade Adeniran, the Station Manager of Dana Airline, told NAN that the insurance company would make sure that the victims’ families were all attended to in due time.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, had on May 30 in a news conference said that the ministry had come up with several industry safety initiatives.
She said that part of the programmes was the upgrade of safety-critical infrastructure in the sector to avert a future occurrence of the Dana debacle.
Oduah said that the ministry, through the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) 2013, had instituted a new family insurance scheme to aid families of crash victims in the country.
Meanwhile, some clergy men who graced the occasion condoled with the families of the victims and called on the Federal Government to ensure safety was achieved in the nation’s airspace.
Arch Bishop Mathew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, at the inter-denominational Church Services held in remembrance of the crash victims encouraged the families to be strong in God.
He advised Nigerians and other flight customers not to give up on entering Dana aircraft.
"The families should rise above the situation and give thanks to God for having another opportunity to grace this occasion.
"As a nation, let us give Him the place in our hearts so that He will keep saving us from evil.
"The families should be strong in order to take proper care of themselves and the other people left behind, they should hold one another at this crucial time," he said.
Kukah commended the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Aviation for development in the industry and the extent they had gone to ensure that the victims’ families were attended to.
Mr Andrew Omale, another cleric, also charged the family members of the crash victims to remember that they had duties to perform to add value to the society.
NAN reports that the service was held at the General Aviation Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA).
Master Samuel Mbong, 4, one of the victims’ sons, assisted President Goodluck Jonathan to unveil the cenotaph in honour of the crash victims.