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Olateru: AIB’s multi-modal bill’ll reshape aviation

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Multi-modality is the future of accident investigation

 

The proposed Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau Bill, 2020, an Act to provide for an effective legal and institutional framework for the regulation and administration of safety of transportation occurrences in Nigeria, is expected to put Nigeria amongst the world’s greatest in line with global trend and best industry practices.

 

Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Akin Olateru, made the disclosure at the weekend in a paper he presented to the Senate Committee on Aviation on the need for the passage of a Bill to empower the agency to probe rail and marine accidents.

 

Olateru noted that it was widely accepted that multimodality is the future of transport  accident investigation, stressing that the transition had always been made from the extant Air Accident Investigation Agency.

 

His words: “It has therefore become expedient that the Provision of Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act (CAA) be reviewed to establish the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NISB) in a separate Act to bring up on speed with contemporary global best practice in the industry, to create a multi modal Bureau for investigation of air, rail way and maritime accidents.”

 

To ensure transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in this pursuit, the aircraft engineer noted that there is a need to create a unified body which is completely independent from the transport operators, policy makers, regulators and other parties whose interests may conflict with the tasks which organisation is entrusted with.

 

He explained that the purpose of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) is to enable the segregation of investigative activities and promote safety through the conduct of transport, independent and objective investigations in all cases of accidents and incidents involving any of the current modes of transportation in Nigeria.

 

Making a strong case for the passage of the Bill, Olateru stated that consequently, the proposed NSIB would be an Independent Federal Government agency, like its counterparts worldwide.

 

He said: “It will be responsible for determining the probable causes of transportation accidents and serious incidents, publishing findings and making the necessary recommendations to operators, regulators and general public to promote transportation safety, as appropriate.

 

“In Nigeria, the main modes of transportation are road and air. However, recent developments have shown the development of (and return to) railways, and an increase in the use of our inland waterways, as alternate methods of transportation.

 

“Air Transportation is the only mode of transportation in Nigeria which benefits from totally independent and internationally accredited accident investigations, conducted through the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB-N)
“Presently, NIMASA and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) are respectively responsible for regulating and investigating their occurrences (accident/incident). Where agencies act as both regulator and investigator, public confidence will be eroded and the issue of transparency questioned.”

 

Olateru further disclosed that in the global community, recognition of the economic and technology advantages of multimodality has gained traction, adding that many world leaders have either adopted a unified system or are working towards it.

 

He listed the United States, Australia, Korea, Sweden, Japan, Norway, Indonesia, Finland, Taiwan, Netherlands, Switzerland and New Zealand as some of the countries where the multi-modal transport accident investigation system had been established.

 

He noted that the proposed Act provide for an effective legal and institutional framework for the regulation and administration of safety of transportation occurrences in Nigeria.

 

 

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