House Committee On Aviation To Assist AIB In Fixing, Relocating Dilapidated Metallurgical Science Laboratory
The Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji has assured the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria, that the committee would do everything within its powers to ensure that the agency’s Metallurgical Science Laboratory, which is in a bad state, is relocated.
This is just as he commended the accident and incident investigating body for its achievements within three years.
He said this shortly after the committee was briefed by the Commissioner of AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru at the agency’s headquarter at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
The Committee’s assurance came on the heels of the complaint by the AIB boss that the laboratory was in bad shape and that even the building was no longer habitable.
According to him, “The Committee will ensure it relocate the lab from its present location to another location. We will continuously partner with AIB on this issue.”
On the Multi-Modal bill that is before the National Assembly, the Committee Chairman stated that the committee would facilitate the passage of the bill that would give AIB the power to investigate Marine and rail accidents and incidents.
Speaking funding, which the Commissioner for AIB stated was the agency’s major challenge; Nnolim said that the issue of inadequate funding was not restricted to AIB, adding that agencies outside the aviation industry are experiencing the same thing but that the committee would look into the matter.
In his words, “Funding is generally a problem because agencies outside the aviation industry also have funding problem.”
AIB, he stated had done well for establishing data retrieval system and for assisting other countries to build to build capacity.
He hailed AIB not only for its vision and for also helping Gambia, to set up her own accident investigation body.
Earlier, the AIB Commissioner, Engr. Akin Olateru reeled out the agency’s achievements since he was appointed in 2017,one of which was the re-engineering of the Flight Safety Laboratory in Abuja ,which according to him is among the best in the world and first in Africa.
He said that other countries have been approaching AIB, Nigeria to assist them in accident investigation, adding that the present AIB management led by him reviewed of AIB Manual.
Olateru stated before he was appointed the morale of the staff was low and that there was also no Condition of Service (CoS) for the agency but when he came he addressed these issues.
He told the visiting committee that the plan of the agency for the future is to establish Emergency Satellite Mobile Office, pursue the Multi- Modal System Accident Investigation bill, which according to him is already before the National Assembly that would give AIB the powers to carry out investigation on air, rail and marine transport.
He also informed the committee that the agency is investing on drones to take pictures at crash site and also carryout mapping of the site to make accident and incident investigation seamless in the event of any mishap.
On the challenges facing the agency, Olateru, stated that AIB is funding, as the accident investigating body is the only government agency that don’t generate anything on its own.
He appealed to the committee to look into the funding issue on to further assist AIB to grow.
On Metallurgical Science Laboratory, he said, the facility was not functioning and that efforts have been made to partner with universities and other institutions to determine ways of reactivating it.
Recalled that AIB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with University of Ilorin on the usage of the facility.