AIB Advocates Increase Of Its Share From TSC To 10%

…Appeals To FG To Lift Training Embargo On Foreign Training
The Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr. Felix Abali has advocated for the increase of its share of the 5 per cent Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) from 3 per cent to 10 per cent to enable it discharge it responsibilities effectively.
The 5 per cent TSC is collected at source from air passengers by the airlines on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
TSC is to enable all aviation agencies carry out their responsibilities of providing safe, secure and efficient regulatory services for the overall benefits of all aviation stakeholders.
The TSC is shared among aviation agencies, which includes the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).
This is just as the agency lamented that paucity of funds has prevented the agency from carrying out its duties as a responsible accident investigator.
The AIB boss also appealed to the Federal Government to exempt its technical personnel from the current embargo placed on foreign training since 2015.
Abali advocated for the increase during a visit of the House Ad-Hoc Committee on Non-Oil Revenue and Remittances at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, (MMA), Lagos.
He stated that AIB as parts of its succession plan required special funding to operate and hoped that the committee would use its good office to push for the upward review of the ticket sales charge for the agency.
According to him, “For emergency and high profile accidents, AIB requires an emergency or special account to meet this need. Malaysia MH 370 and TWA 800 accidents, among others are apt examples. Stakeholders and public awareness campaign requires adequate funding. We request for support in this area.”
He continued, “Accident investigation bodies are not expected to charge for their services and so the opportunity to generate independent revenue is almost nil. Based on Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, Manual, there should be special fund dedicated to catre for any major accidents. It has been very difficult to provide and keep this fund since every unspent money goes back to the Federal Treasury by December 31st of every financial year.”
AIB, he said needed to urgently meet the need for qualified personnel to take-over from the crop of ageing technical personnel, who according to him were currently on contract, adding that huge fund was required for manpower development, majority of which is done overseas.
He listed the upgrade of flight safety laboratory and flight data monitoring device, equipping of wreckage hangar and establishment of two regional offices in Kano and Enugu as some of the ongoing projects of AIB.
On the embargo on foreign training, he explained that air accident investigation was a specialised area that required special training that are obtainable mostly overseas.
Recalled that the Federal Government had in early 2015 suspended foreign training and international travels by Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The government had said that embargo on training and international travels was one of the cost-saving measures introduced following recent developments in the international oil market, which has affected the revenue stream of government.
Since the directive, which was announced by the Head of Service, Mr. Danladi kifasi in February 2015, technical personnel in the nation’s aviation industry had not been able to embark on foreign training to boost their technical knowledge.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Chike Okafor promised to assist the agency in resolving some of its challenges.
Okafor pointed out the essence of the committee was to look at other avenues by which the Federal Government could make more revenues apart from oil, which he noted had been dwindling in recent time.
He posited that part of its assignment was to see how the committee could help the government to shore up its revenues apart from oil.
According to him, “Nigeria is about 80 per cent dependent on oil, which has crashed in recent time in the international market. Nigeria is in comatose and we all have to save the country from total collapse.”
He commended AIB for its cooperation with its advance team that crosschecked its books for over a week.