AIB’s success story has impressed nations —Commissioner

THE present management of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has for the umpteenth time emphasized that the bureau under it was focused on engendering relationships which would facilitate excellence and enduring world-class standards in the investigation and prevention of air accidents in Nigeria.

Speaking through the image maker of the bureau, Mr Tunji Oketunbi at the regional enlightenment symposium held in Enugu, the Commissioner of AIB, Mr Akin Olateru while describing collaboration as creating a working relationship declared: “for anybody to want to collaborate with you, first of all, you need to be in a position to add value. What we have done at AIB is that we have raised the profile of the bureau and built that trust within the industry that we are unbiased. That we are professionals, focused and that we are clear on our mandate.

“This has prompted some institutions wanting to partner with AIB. France, on their own, wrote to us asking for collaboration and we have signed an MoU with them. Saudi Arabia also wrote to us and if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, we would have gone to Saudi Arabia to sign an MoU with them.

BAGAIA (Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency), a regional body,has also reached out because they really want to use AIB Nigeria to support the entire West Africa. This is ongoing.”

Describing the AIB’s flight safety laboratory in Abuja as world class, the Commissioner hinted that before the end of this year (2020), that there is going to be a training for all accident investigators in the region to showcase the laboratory.

“We also recently signed an MoU with the Nigerian Air Force on collaboration on mutual benefits. This collaboration will save the Air Force some money in terms of funds it allocates to downloading its Flight Data Recorders, commonly known as black boxes abroad following an air crash. For AIB, the collaboration will benefit us in terms of accessing remote crash sites faster and easily since the Air Force has helicopters that can transport our investigators.

“We are currently seeking collaboration with security and emergency agencies across the country in terms of security of evidence at crash sites. We have a strong collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps and we have trained their personnel and security personnel from the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps on air disaster management. This is aimed at ensuring that evidence at crash sites are not tampered with. Tertiary institutions in Nigeria are not left out in our collaborative efforts as AIB has MoUs with the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), and University of Lagos (UNILAG) on the use of its material science laboratory.

The AIB Chief also cited the agreement it has with UNILAG which culminated in the recent training of the bureau’s investigators  on the use of drones as part of accident investigation technique at the UNILAG consult building.

“AIB’s success story has really impressed not only agencies in the country but other nations. For example, South Africa asked their consultant to come and examine how we are doing it: what is it we are doing that is different, in order to see what they can replicate into their own operations.

“The current  administration of the bureau has also engaged in international collaborations and cooperation agreements with several countries and institutions such as Republic of Benin, US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB), Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA- France) and UK AAIB.”


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