Thursday, May 19, 2022

Senate Passes Act To Establish Accident Investigation Agency

Nigerian Senate

The Senate, today (February 15), passed the bill for the Act to provide for the establishment of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), a multi-modal accident investigation agency, about a month after the House of Representatives passed the same bill.

When assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, this will see to the transformation of the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) into a multi modal safety investigation agency, with rail, maritime and aircraft accident investigation.

Breaking the good news to the staff of AIB-N today in Abuja, the AIB chief executive officer, Engr. Akin Olateru, said: “It is with great pleasure that I send you all hearty congratulations and announce that our new Bill before the National Assembly has been passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives. This is a bright new beginning for AIB.”

The establishment of the NSIB will put Nigeria at the top in Africa in transportation accident investigation, with the country becoming the first to have such an agency on the continent.

According to Olateru, who thanked the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika for his support, this is a reward of the diligence and commitment of the staff of the agency who he said worked tirelessly for the success of the exercise.

“I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Honourable Minister of Aviation and you all, my wonderful, dedicated AIB team. Thank you for your patience, hard work, perseverance and dedication to this cause.

“Thank you for revising, reviewing, editing and committing tirelessly to getting the bill prepared. Our efforts have been justly rewarded with success and I appreciate each of you,” he said.

The chief executive officer, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olateru.
The chief executive officer, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olateru.

Enlarging the operations of AIB into a multi-modal agency was one of the cardinal programmes of Olateru when he assumed office as the fourth commissioner/CEO of AIB in 2017.

With the strong backing and diligent pursuit of the minister, the initiative got the Federal Executive Council ‘s approval and passed through the ministry of justice before landing at the National Assembly. The National Assembly conducted open hearings where all stakeholders made their inputs.

Olateru stated that the establishment of the NSIB is a good development and will be of great benefit to all Nigerians as it would provide an adequate legal and institutional framework for the regulation and administration of safety transportation occurrences in Nigeria.

“The NSIB would reinforce safety in all modes of transportation in Nigeria through distinctive, efficient and effective investigations of accidents and serious incidents involving any of the modes of transportation within Nigeria or anywhere else Nigeria’s interest is affected.

“The NSIB will determine the probable causes of accidents and serious incident occurrences in transportation and publish safety recommendations to operators, regulators and others, which would help prevent the recurring of similar occurrences, therefore, improving the safety of transportation in Nigeria,” he said.

A statement by the AIB-N, general manager, public affairs, Tunji Oketunbi, said the agency through its rigorous investigations, reports and safety recommendations has greatly improved the safety of air travel in the country, with the industry recording only one fatal occurrence since 2015.

According to it, besides transforming AIB-N into a formidable and respected agency globally, this is one of the indelible marks Olateru will be leaving as the chief executive of the agency he took from relative obscurity to a key player in the global aviation industry.

Reacting to the news of the passage of the bill, the commissioner of Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Engr. Charles Erhue said: “This is a great feat for the AIB family and the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) region. I wish to congratulate the Hon. Commissioner and entire AIB management team, with the support of every staff who has committed time and resources in one way or the other to make this a huge success.”

Oluchi Okorafor
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