The Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI), an international not-for-profit and non-partisan values based leadership development organisation that provides a platform for emerging, highly accomplished and credible Nigerian leaders (Senior Fellows, Fellows & Associates) to develop and express their values-based leadership skills and also play a transformative role in the development of Nigeria recently, on June 3, 2014, launched an innovative initiative designed to make flying in Nigeria safer and efficient. The initiative is tagged the "Safer Skies Initiative (SSI) web portal." www.saferskiesng.org
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of NLI, Mr. Yinka Oyinlola, informed journalists that The Safer Skies Initiative is a proactive and solution based response to the Dana Airline Crash of 2012 and the frequent air disasters and accompanied loss of lives and properties in Nigeria. Adding that "since the first air accident in Nigeria, in 1969, there have been 54 others for reasons such as poorly maintained aircrafts and runways, poor communication equipment and lack of infrastructure, non-functional radar, ineffective regulatory oversight, etc." Continuing, Mr. Oyinlola averred that a situation where in the last 10 years, a total of 624 people have lost their lives from ten air crashes in Nigeria while a country like South Africa has only had two air crashes within the same period is indeed unacceptable."
NLI has, through the Safer Skies Initiative, designed five principal strands that are mutually complementary for the greatest impact in catalyzing safer skies and a more efficient aviation industry in Nigeria:
- Safer Skies Portal
- Safety Advocacy
- Trauma Counseling Referral
- Legal Rights & Options Referral
- Financial Planning & Budgeting Advice
The Safer Skies Initiative is also aimed at improving the accountability of the aviation sector while also providing concrete support and assistance to the families of victims of air accidents.
More specifically, the NLI Director of Programs, Anthony Ubani, stated that the "Safer Skies Initiative is a web portal that allows air travellers to report safety issues and observations. The portal offers air operators a platform to provide information and/or clarifications on reported issues. Air regulators will also be able to monitor reported incidences and take necessary action."
Ubani added that Citizens' reports and observations received at the Safer Skies Initiative portal will be forwarded to the concerned air operator(s) for response and comments. Serious anomalies, if un-responded to by the air operator(s), will be communicated to the appropriate air regulator. Required follow-up actions will be undertaken by NLI to ensure that air travels are safer for all. All of these will be supported by a targeted consumer advocacy campaigns to improve air safety conditions."
On whether NLI intends to execute this laudable initiative all alone, Ubani assured that "NLI will work collaboratively and in partnership with critical stakeholders including airline and airport operators, airline and airport regulators, Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives, Consumer Protection Council, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to achieve the desired objective of safer Nigerian skies for all.
Concluding, Ubani appreciated the President of the October 2013 NLI Associate Fellows class, Mr. Gbolahan Fagbure, for his personal commitment and leadership in mobilizing his colleagues to execute in a timely fashion the first phase of the Safer Skies Initiative. Join the Safer Skies Campaign on Twitter – @SaferSkiesNG