Just in: Senate passes act establishing multi-modal accident investigation agency

The Senate, on Tuesday the bill for the Act to provide for the establishment of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), a multimodal accident investigation agency, came about a month after the House of Representatives passed the same bill.

When assented to by the President, this will see to the transformation of the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) into a multi-modal safety Investigation agency adding Rail and Maritime to the Aircraft Accident Investigation.

Breaking the good news to the staff of AIB-N today in Abuja, Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of AIB 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. We give all the glory to Almighty God. This is a bright new beginning for AIB.”

The establishment of the NSIB will put Nigeria at the top in Africa as regards transportation accident investigation with the country becoming the first to have such agency in the continent and it is happening under the visionary guidance and leadership of the Minister of Aviation, Senator HadiSirika.

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

His words: “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.

AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru

“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 and every one of you.”

Enlarging the operations of AIB into a multimodal agency was one of the cardinal programmes of Engr. Akin Olateru when he assumed office as the fourth Commissioner/CEO of AIB in 2017.

With the strong backing and diligent pursuit of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Sen HadiSirika, the initiative got Federal Executive Council 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.

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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,” he said.

He added: “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”.

AIB-N 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.

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

National Assembly, Abuja

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 to the AIB family and to 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.”

Wole Shadare