The Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N) said it has commenced the process for its transition into a multi-modal accident investigation body, with the setting up of an in-house committee for the implementation of the new act on the establishment of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB).
The commissioner of the bureau, Engr. Akin Olateru who made this known through the general manager, public affairs, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi disclosed that the committee was set up following the assent of the new NSIB Act 2022 by President Muhammed Buhari and the Supreme Court Gazette of November 28, 2022.
“With this, the nomenclature of the chief executive officer (CEO) in AIB-N has changed from commissioner to director-general, NSIB,” stated the statement signed by Oketunbi.
The newly established NSIB is now responsible for the investigation of air, marine, rail and other modes of transportation serious incidents and accidents in Nigeria and anywhere the country’s interest is affected.
“The new act will further enhance safety in all modes of transportation in the country as serious incidents and accidents would be investigated and recurrence prevented,” he said.
Olateru, who lauded the Federal Government for establishing the multimodal agency, said Nigeria would be moving with the global trend in ensuring safety in all transportation modes.
He lauded the National Assembly for passing the bill and the president for assenting to it.
Olateru commended the doggedness and leadership qualities of the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika and the Federal Ministry of Aviation for championing the creation of the NSIB which he said would open a new chapter in transportation safety in Nigeria.
While inaugurating the committee for the implementation of the new act that establishes the NSIB, Olateru commended the staff and management of AIB-N for their support and sacrifices to ensure that the bill saw the light of day.
“We did it together in the interest of the country. I salute your commitment, sacrifices and determination without which we would not have achieved this,” he added.
The expansion of AIB-N’s scope of operations into a multi-modal agency was one of the cardinal programmes of Olateru when he assumed office in 2017.
With this in mind, the bureau, under his leadership vigorously canvassed for the establishment of the NSIB that would enable the bureau extend its mandate to cover not only the investigation of air mishaps but also that of other modes of transportation per global standard practices.
The commissioner, in 2020, at the public hearings of the Senate and House committees on aviation for the passage of the NSIB bill, assured that the NSIB would enable the bureau improve the safety standard of the country’s transportation network through quality investigation of accidents and serious incident occurrences, timely publication of the reports and safety recommendations.
AIB-N, whose mandate was to investigate air mishaps in the country, with its rigorous investigations and timely release of reports and safety recommendations, has greatly enhanced safety within the industry.
The bureau, from its inception, has released 71 reports and 252 safety recommendations. So far, 58 reports and 194 safety recommendations were released by Olateru’s administration.
The current administration at AIB-N also released four safety bulletins since it assumed office in 2017.
This feat is very much appreciated in air travel, as only one fatal occurrence has been recorded in the last seven years.
This safety standard achieved in the aviation industry would now be replicated in other modes of transportation in the country through the NSIB.
The purpose of accident investigation is not to apportion blame or liability but to prevent the future recurrence of similar incidents.