… As Olateru Explains Reasons For Getting 5% PSC From FAAN
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Officials from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), led by Mr. Caj Frostel and Singapore led by Mr. Michael Toft have arrived Nigeria to assist the Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB) in the technical evaluation of its Flight Safety Laboratory in Abuja and also for capacity development.
The Commissioner of AIB,Engr. Akin Olateru,who disclosed this while speaking with journalists stated that the two teams arrived at the weekend .
Olateru said that the Head of Accident Investigation for Banjul Accord Group (BAGAIA) from ICAO arrived the country from Canada, adding that ICAO wanted the entire West African countries to benefit from the laboratory.
He assured that with the full usage of the equipment, Nigeria would be a force to be reckoned with in accident investigation, disclosing that National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also agreed train Nigerian investigators.
According to him, “The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of United States has also agreed to come to Nigeria to train our investigators, which will come up sometime in September. They have also agreed that we should send our investigators to them to do the On-the-Job training in their establishment. These to me will really help AIB because at the end of the day, it’s about building an institution. Building institutions is not just about buying equipment, throwing money at people, it’s about giving them the right exposure, which goes a long way. To me, within the next two years, we will build a very strong institution in AIB, which can take the lead and support the entire West African countries.”
The AIB boss added that a team from Singapore that arrived Nigeria today is also for the training of technical personnel in AIB on the usage of the Safety Laboratory Equipment situated in Abuja and technical evaluation of the laboratory prior to its update.
The team , he stated was expected to commence work on the equipment on Monday.
On the choice of Singapore, Olateru said that Nigeria decided to call on Singapore for the training of its personnel on the equipment because the Asian country has the same equipment as Nigeria.
He described the laboratory equipment as unique,adding that Nigeria is the only country in West Africa with the state-of-the-art facility.
“We wrote to Singapore because they have the same equipment as ours and graciously, they have agreed to support us with the required manpower and training. The team arrived Nigeria today (Sunday) and would be in Abuja to train us on how to get the best out of this equipment,”he said.
Meanwhile, Olateru has stated that the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika,has the power to approve 5 per cent of the revenue from Passengers Service Charge (PSC) to the agency from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Olateru, who bemoaned the criticism that trailed the approval of 5 per cent of the PSC to the agency by the Ministry from a section of the industry, revealed that several AIB projects were stalled because of paucity of funds.
He also pointed that AIB only gets a meagre 3 per cent of the revenue from the 5 per cent Ticket Sales Charge and the Cargo Sales Charge (CSC) collected on behalf of the agencies by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) while other agencies get more.
He stated that NCAA in line with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, gets 58 per cent, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) earns 23 per cent, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) gets 7 per cent while the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) earns 9 per cent of the total sum.
The AIB Commissioner further explained that of all the agencies in the industry, only FAAN earned the PSC 100 per cent, adding that the same agency still collects charges for adverts, parking and landing of aircraft, land and tolls on vehicles coming in and exiting the airports across the country.
He lamented that lack of funds and non-training of accident investigators since 2013 had stalled the release of the over 35 accident investigation reports,saying that the agency needed to develop human capacities in order to compete with accident investigating bodies in other aviation climes.
In his words, “Anybody that says it is not fair for us to get a part of the PSC is wicked because who owns the two agencies? It’s the Federal Government. We all share the TSC and FAAN doesn’t share its PSC with anybody and the government in its wisdom says ‘FAAN, please give AIB 5 per cent.’ I don’t think that is too much. It is within the power of the minister to do that.But, one thing that is critical to us is that we have to work on in our budget on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) side is the issue of accident investigation and training. These are critical. We need to build our capacities in accident investigation; there are certain things we need to improve upon, there are processes that we need to review, there is public sentitisation that we need to do.”
He continued, “All these things cause, money and this is what we have managed to put into the IGR side for 2017. We expect some reasonable money from the PSC to support us to deliver on some of our mandates. We still have to sit with FAAN to see how much this money is and what will the 5 per cent translate to.”
Abelnewsng.com recalled that the AIB Commissioner had on June 5, 2017 requested from the ministry 10 per cent of the PSC collected by FAAN, citing inadequate funds in the agency to carry out most of its projects and responsibilities as some of the challenges facing it.