NSIB, NSCDC Collaborate To Ensure Transport Safety In Nigeria

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L-R: Chief Superintendent SE Alabi, 2IC, Olowo, Commandant Ogunyoye John, DG NSIB, Engr. Akin Olateru, Assistant Commandant KY Alabi, Deputy General Manager Engineering NSIB, Engr. Alao Oluponmile, during a courtesy visit to the NSCDC Lagos Railway Command Headquarters in Ebutte Meta, Lagos State.

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has expressed interest in partnering with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to further ensure safety in all modes of transportation across the country. The two agencies have agreed to draft a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalize their partnership and ensure mutual benefits for all.

The director-general of NSIB, Engr. Akin Olateru led a courtesy visit to the NSCDC Railway Command Headquarters in Lagos to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the two agencies. He emphasised the need for the two Federal Government agencies to collaborate for the safety and security of over 200 million Nigerians who use air, road, rail or water transport, particularly in accident investigation.

The NSIB Act 2022 empowers the Bureau to investigate accidents in all modes of transportation, including rail and maritime. This allows the Bureau to identify the cause of any accident and prevent a recurrence. Olateru explained that through the investigation of serious incidents and accidents in the air transportation industry, the spate of accidents had reduced, and air transport in Nigeria was now rated among the safest in the world. He hopes to replicate this success in other modes of transportation in Nigeria.

Olateru appealed to the corps to work in harmony with the bureau. He also co-opted the railway team to join NSIB investigators on the investigation of the rail and bus accident that occurred in Lagos on March 9, 2023. This will help unravel the causal cause of the accident and issue recommendations on prevention of recurrence.

The commandant of NSCDC Railway Command Headquarters, Lagos, Oludare Ogunyoye expressed delight at the NSIB team’s visit and reiterated the corps’ readiness to collaborate with NSIB and offer assistance whenever necessary. Ogunyoye pledged that the NSCDC would swing into action whenever NSIB called on them.

In his explanation, Olateru pointed out that every mode of transportation must have three legs: the regulator, the service provider and the investigator. Regulators are responsible for ensuring that transport providers comply with safety standards, service providers offer transportation services and investigators investigate accidents. Separating these three functions leads to clarity and helps to avoid conflicts of interest.

Olateru believes that an independent agency of the government for investigating accidents is necessary in today’s world. Countries like the US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and even Cape Verde have such agencies to ensure clarity and avoid conflicts of interest.

In conclusion, the collaboration between NSIB and NSCDC will improve transport safety in Nigeria. It will lead to the prevention of accidents, the identification of the causal cause of accidents, and the issuance of recommendations on how to prevent a recurrence. The MoU will ensure mutual benefits for all parties involved.

Oluchi Okorafor
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