The Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB N), Engr. Akin Olateru, has said after six years, Nigeria has the best safety records in the world in terms of crashes so far experienced across the world.
Speaking on Monday in Abuja, Olateru, who was represented by the Director of Engineering, AIB, Mohammed Wali, said this at a workshop on the role of accident/incident investigation in the state safety programme, ESP, and flight recorder workshop – recorders and beyond of the Banjul Accord Group Accident on Investigation Agency, BAGAIA.
He, however, emphasized the role of AIB and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, in ensuring safety in the Nigerian Airspace.
According to him, the last fatal crash we had was about three years and in the last six years, the Nigerian air space has been one of the safest in the world. So, when you look at the role AIB and NCAA play in accidents, the synergy is the result of the safer skies we have now” he said.
He, therefore, identified poor funding as one of the major challenges bedevilling the AIB.
“The biggest challenge we have is funding generally because apparently, you know, we can’t charge for what we do. That’s the irony of the situation. Even when the Camerons came we couldn’t charge. We don’t charge for what we do.
“If you now have a recorder, it is a norm under the convention. If you send it to AIB for download, you don’t charge for it and now that is one of the reasons why we are going into the MSIB where you do the Marine, the rail investigation.
“So, with that, maybe the other aspects we have just like now with the mobile office, things we have which we can now use to generate funds, but the actual aspect of investigation all over the world, you don’t charge for it”, he said.
Addressing participants at the commencement of the training, BAGAIA’s Commissioner, Charles Irikefe Erhueh said: “These dual workshop investigative processes will further expatiate on stakeholders’ role during the investigation in terms of the State Salty Programme. Also, this will let us understand the benefits of the use of drones in accident investigations while looking beyond the flight recorders.
“Note that once an accident happened and the scene becomes contaminated by people who should not be there their actions more often than not, derail the investigative process Sometimes you see a massive crowd looting and carting away things from the scene all in the guise to help”, he added
The workshop had participants drawn from Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria, AIB; the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN; Nigeria Civil Authority, CAA, among others.