Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N) has once again called for the establishment of the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), an independent unified body charged with the responsibilities of carrying out investigation of occurrences involving all modes of transportation with the aim of promoting and enhancing safe transportation in Nigeria.
Speaking during the public hearing on amendment bills for Civil Aviation Acts organised by House Committee on Aviation, the Commissioner of the Bureau, Engr. Akin Olateru reiterated that the proposed NSIB bill, which is currently before the National Assembly, 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 mode of transportation within Nigeria or anywhere else Nigeria’s interest is affected.
Olateru stated that, “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 safety of transportation in Nigeria”.
He added that the proposed bill, if passed into law will also provide adequate legal and institutional frame work for the regulation and administration of safety transportation occurrences in Nigeria.
The AIB Commissioner disclosed that the Bureau’s current mandate, which is to investigate aircraft accident and serious incidents that occur within the Nigerian airspace or anywhere else Nigeria’s interest is affected with the aim of forestalling such occurrence from reoccurring, has greatly improved the safety of air travel in the country, as only one fatal occurrence has been recorded in the civil aviation since 2015.
Stating the importance of an independent investigation agency, Olateru disclosed that “the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) are responsible for regulating and investigating their own accident and incident occurrences, and where agencies act as regulators and investigators, the issue of transparency and public confidence may be questioned”.
Speaking, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji acknowledged the resilience, determination and frankness exhibited by various groups and critical stakeholders throughout the public hearing of the agencies.
He further stated that the committee is aware of the place of aviation in the nation’s national economy and expectations, adding that the Committee would not renege in its promise of ensuring that within the framework of the legislative agenda of the 9th Assembly, it would strive to bequeath to Nigerians an aviation industry that is virile, safe and reliable.