…Say Proposed Body Will Investigate Air, Marine, Rail Accidents
… As Committee Advises On Further Consultation, Robust engagement.
The Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika has appealed to the Senate Committee on Aviation led by Senator Smart Adeyemi to do justice to the Executive Bill designed to amend the Act establishing Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB)Nigeria, which would lead to change of name to Nigerian Safety Investigation Board (NSIB).
He made the appeal to the Senate Committee on Aviation on the last day of the Three-Day Public Hearing organised by the Senate to look at the six Executive Bills that would amend the Act setting up the six agencies in the aviation sector for better management of the respective agencies.
The essence of the amendment, Sirika stated was to empower AIB-Nigeria to carry out a unified accident investigation on air transport, marine and rail.
He said that the Federal Government has equipped AIB-Nigeria not only to be the best investigating body in the world but that the agency has also been equipped to carry out the unified investigation under a new name.
The Minister informed that before presenting the bill for public hearing, he has presented it six times to stakeholders, adding that the bill needed all the seriousness it deserves.
Sirika added that in the wisdom of the Federal Government and in line with the advice of the National Assembly to cut down the cost of governance, the bill was in order.
We urged the Senate to do justice to the bill and pass it into law. We have visited the United States, we have taken the US model, we have seen what they have done and how it has helped them to save cost,” Sirika said.
The Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of Accident, Engr. Akin Olateru, while making his submission stated that there was the need to have a unified accident investigation body that would investigate air transport, marine and rail.
He contended that the idea to create one body which would be called Nigerian Safety Investigation Board(NSIB)was not only in line with what is obtained in developed climes but also in accordance with best global practices.
He listed some of the countries where unified accident investigation to include: the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which according to him is an independent Federal accident investigation agency created in in 1967, Japan Transportation Safety Board, Singapore, Federal Safety Investigation Authority, Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Safety Investigation Authority, Finland, Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB) among others.
According to Olateru some of the benefits to include: improve the efficiency of service providers, reduction of number of deaths, creation of jobs, improvement safety infrastructure in the country, It will enhance Nigerian transportation system; eliminate duplication of functions and waste of scarce resources.
He added that like the NTSB, the proposed Nigerian Safety Investigation Board (NSIB) will be a unified and autonomous Federal Government accident investigation body.
However, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi Advised AIB-Nigeria to open a robust consultations and engagements with other stakeholders in the maritime and railways to ensure the bill sails through.
He told stakeholders that he was ever ready to help since the idea to have a unified and independent accident investigation body is a brilliant idea, adding that all what the committee wants are superior arguments that the Senate Committee on Aviation would use to convince other committees on maritime and rail.
He also said that it was also necessary to find out if the proposed agency contradicts the Act establishing these two agencies that are outside aviation, adding that the good aspect of the public hearing is that aviation stakeholders did not oppose the bill.