Simon Ateba/Aviation correspondent
Insurers of Dana Air on Thursday commenced final payment of $70,000 compensation to each of the families of victims of the of the 3 June crash after an initial payment of $30,000 to over 80 families.
The Civil Aviation Act stipulates that the sum of $100,000 be paid as compensation to families of victims of air disasters.
Confirming the payment to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Tony Usidamen, Dana Air’s Head of Corporate Communications said that following receipt of Letter of authentification from the Probate Registry, the insurers have begun balance payment of $70,000 to affected families.
“Only 4 other families have, so far, presented the requisite Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration, and payment will shortly be made to them,” Usidamen said.
Usidamen explained that in order to assess and verify full compensation due and payable, it is necessary for claimants to produce the required Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration which would then have to be authenticated by the Probate Registry.
“This is a customary procedure to ensure that just compensation is only paid to the right next-of-kin. Dana Air has no control over the speed with which the Probate Registry deals with the verification process, although maximum pressure is being exerted to expedite this,” he said.
Usidamen explained that in the case of minors, a Letter of Guardianship has to be produced by the parent or guardian in order to access full payment.
“Again, this is not a pre-condition given by Dana Air or its insurers but a standard legal requirement to ensure that due compensation is paid only to those who have entitlement,” he said.
Usidamen said Dana Air understands the challenges families face in getting the required legal documents to access the final payments but will continue to assist them in any possible way.
“They are not alone in the process and we will continue to work with the NCAA and other relevant authorities to assist them in every way possible. Thankfully, the Lagos State Government has promised to fast-track the process of obtaining the Letters of Administration from the Probate Registry,” Usidamen said.
He said Dana Air shares in the pain of all the affected families and wishes to re-iterate its readiness of their insurers to settle all claims in accordance with the law and available evidence, at the earliest opportunity.