The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is under the Ministry of Aviation and is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within Nigeria.
The Fundamental Objective of AIB is to improve aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air accidents and serious incidents and making safety recommendations intended to prevent recurrence of similar accidents in future. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.
In the past, accident investigation was conducted under the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Ministry of Aviation, which was performing a dual function of Airworthiness Certification and the investigation of aircraft accidents. The dual role of the Civil Aviation Department then generated a lot of arguments as policy makers within the industry argued for the need to have two separate Departments to comply with ICAO Annex 8
- Airworthiness of Aircraft and ICAO Annex 13 - Investigation of Aircraft Accidents. The arguments centered on the objectivity that a Department could not be responsible for the Airworthiness functions and at the same time be responsible for investigation of accidents. This is to ensure that the regulatory body and the Accident Investigation Bureau are physically separated.
In 1989, the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) was created and the Civil Aviation Department became the Department of Safety Services within the new FCAA. In the same vein, accident investigation activities were carved out of FCAA and a new investigative department known as Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was created under the Federal Ministry of Aviation. The name of the Bureau was later modified to Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau. Recently, the Bureau became an autonomous agency known as "Accident Investigation Bureau" through the Civil Aviation Act of 2006.
Civil Aviation Policy
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Policy of 2001 recommended the creation of a financially independent Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau, which shall operate as an Agency to guarantee expeditious response and movement of staff to accident sites. The policy also states that the Bureau shall be responsible for the investigation of aircraft accidents and serious incidents as well as publication of investigation reports.
Law Establishing AIB.
Civil Aviation Act 2006 is the primary law that established the Accident Investigation Bureau as an autonomous agency that reports to the President through the Minister responsible for Air Transportation. The Bureau is headed by a commissioner who is also the Chief Executive Officer.