Cablegate: Nigeria: Minister of Aviation Requests U.S.

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958:

1.(u) Ambassador received an urgent call from the Nigerian
Minister of Aviation Kemi Chikwe with an appeal for
assistance in investigating the Saturday, May 4 crash of
the EAS BAC1-11-500 aircraft in Kano. The EAS aircraft
crashed almost immediately after takeoff, killing all 79
passengers and crew on board and approximately 30 people on
the ground (SEPTEL).

2. (u) Chikwe requested an aviation expert in airworthiness
and an investigator for the crash site, which is spread
over several kilometers in a residential section of the
city of Kano.

3. (u) The Minister said that a Special Panel to
investigate the crash was being set up. Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court Muhammad Uwais will head the Special
Panel. The Panel will begin meeting next week and hopes to
complete its work in three or four weeks.

4. (u) In addition to investigating the cause of the EAS
crash, Chikwe said that the Panel will also investigate the
sourcing of aircraft by domestic carriers as well as their
places of maintenance. Chikwe also asked for assistance in
identifying better sources for aircraft and maintenance.
She said there are safety concerns about present sources
for both aircraft procurement and maintenance, which are
mainly British, American and Eastern European. (Note:
There are also several airlines that use former Yugoslav
commercial aircraft. End Note.)

5. (u) Comment: We would like to be responsive. If nothing
more, American experts can perhaps help the GON better
define its terms of reference and scope of work on what
appears, at first glance, to be an enormous and very
complex undertaking.

6. (u) Chikwe's request, which was not unexpected, would
seem to fall squarely within our "safe skies" initiative.
The EAS aircraft was British manufacture, and we would be
surprised if Chikwe also has not approached the British for
assistance (we will endeavor to find out).

7. (u) We have long maintained that most domestic
commercial airlines in Nigeria are unsafe. A thorough
investigation into aircraft procurement and maintenance
practices is long overdue.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>