By Chiemelie Ezeobi.THIS DAY.14 Dec 2012
Insurers of Dana Air, Lloyd of London yesterday, commenced payment of USD 70,000 to families of victims of the June 3, 2012 air disaster in Lagos, after the advance payments of USD 30,000 to about 80 families in accordance to the 2006 Civil Aviation Act, which stipulates that the sum of USD 100,000 should be paid as compensation to each family of victims of air disasters.
Confirming the payment, the airline’s Head of Corporate Communications, Tony Usidamen, said: “Following receipt of Letter of Authentication from the Probate Registry, our insurers have begun balance payment of USD 70,000 to affected families. Only four other families have, so far, presented the requisite Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration, and payment will shortly be made to them.”
Usidamen explained that in order to assess and verify full compensation due and payable, it was necessary for claimants to produce the required Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration, which would 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.
He said in the case of minors, a Letter of Guardianship had to be produced by the parent or guardian in order to access full payment. Usidamen noted: “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.”
The compensation is paid through Lloyd’s local partner, Prestige Assurance which also dispensed the initial $30,000 to the families. “We appreciate how difficult this period is for all the families and are also aware of the challenges they are facing in getting the required legal documents for accessing the final payments.
“We, however, want to offer our assurances that 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.