Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources on Thursday commiserated with families of Dr Levi Ajuonuma and the four other NNPC staff that died in Dana plane crash.
The minister, who officially signed the condolence register opened for the late five staff of the ministry in Abuja, described them as consummate professionals who contributed immensely to the development of the industry.
``We thank God for Levi’s life and for the impact he had made in the lives of so many people, we pray God will give his family the protection, guidance and grace to get through this most painful of period.
``May God keep Levi now in the bosom of His everlasting grace,’’ she wrote in the condolence register.
She called on the entire nation to continue to pray for deceased and called for support for the families they left behind.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after signing the register, the minister said: ``It has been extremely sad time for us and this is most momentous and extremely tragic.
`` You saw yesterday how the Federal Executive Council itself has taken this; it is actually a very sad time for the entire nation and our hearts and prayers go out to families of all of them.’’
He described Ajuonuma as a thoroughbred professional who contributed his quota to the NNPC, Oil and Gas Sector and the nation as a whole.
Mr Goni Sheikh, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, also expressed sadness at the incident and said the ministry was going to miss the services of the departed workers.
NAN reports that the permanent secretary and Mr Austen Oniwon, the Group Managing Director of NNPC as well as other top management staff also signed the register.
The affected staff are Dr Levi Ajuonuma, NNPC spokesman, Mr Okikiolu Olukayode, Manager, Pipeline and Depot Project and Mr Nagidi Ibrahim, Senior Contract Specialist, Brass, LNG.
Others are Mr Inuwa Ahmad, the Deputy Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services and Mr Anthony Nwokoagabra, the Abuja Zonal Operations Manager of Department of Petroleum Resources.