Reps give Dana July 3 deadline to pay compensation

House      of   Representatives on Thursday asked the management of Dana Airlines to pay compensation to the families of the victims of June 3 plane crash.

One hundred and fifty-three  passengers and several others on the ground were killed in the crash that occurred in Iju area of Lagos.

In a resolution in Abuja, the House gave the airline up to July 3 to comply with the directive.

The House took the decision following a motion by Mr. Yakub Abiodun.

Abiodun had told the House that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act makes provision for the payment of compensation to victims within 30 days of an air disaster.

However, the House said that experiences in the past showed that operators were in breach of the provision.

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“We expect compliance and the airline has up to July 3 to pay the compensation,” he added.

The House also ordered other airlines,  whose planes  crashed in the past, to pay 30 per cent of the compensation or make the full payment where investigations had been completed as required by law.

He  added, “The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, simply known as the Montreal Convention, adopted by a diplomatic meeting of member states of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in 1999, stipulated a Special Drawing Rights for victims of air crash, which current value is put at about 171,000 dollars per passenger.”

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On the NCAA Act, he stated, “Since section 48 of the Civil Aviation Act stipulated that an advance payment of 30 per cent of the SDR be made within 30 days, it is important that the House urge the management of Dana Air to comply immediately.”

But  Head, Corporate Communications, Dana Air, Mr Tony Usidamen, said meeting the July deadline would depend on how prompt the victims’ families were able to submit their compensation claim forms to the airline.

He said, “Of  the 153 people that died in the crash, only 50 completed compensation claim forms have submitted to us as at today. And these 50 forms have been passed on to our insurance company. The insurance company is authenticating the forms to ensure they originated from the right family members.

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“Once this is done, they payment will be made. The process has been slow because some of the families are yet to submit their completed claim forms. And we understand their challenges because of what had happened.

“We have tried to help some of them by going to their houses; our staff members have followed some of them to the courts to get some of the needed papers.”

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