Posted by Sade
The Accident Investigation Bureau , Nigeria (AIB-N) would soon have its own training school, Engr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner at the Bureau has said.
Olateru, who disclosed this during the Gateway Forum organised by the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the training school to be built in Abuja.
While responding to questions on the cost of training of personnel, he said the institution when established, will enhance the finance of the Bureau apart from halting capital flight.
“We have 36 trained investigators, we have been training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology ( NCAT), from there we take them to Southern Califonia in the United States of America, there are other courses which come with it and make them better investigators.
” We also do in-house training but training is a continuous process, it is not something we can put a cost to, but very soon,
“But, very soon, all that will change. That is why in the wisdom of FEC, they approved AIB training school to be built in Abuja. The project is ongoing. That will save us all these US dollars that we spend on training overseas. We too can train Africans, people from Europe on accident investigation and the auxiliary costs that go with it. We have drawn up curriculum from Crowdfield University, Singapore Training Institute and NCAT. So, we want to make it a world-class institution because we want to push this training through so that we can earn some good money from it for the country and safe us money as well” , he said.
Speaking on how the Bureau has faired so far, Olateru said even though funding has been a challenge, coupled with COVID-19 lockdown, performance and activities of the Bureau has not been hampered.
“We have refused to let COVID-19 affect our performance, the only problem we have is funding, COVID-19 has affected our revenue greatly but it in terms of delivery, it has not. Challenges will come in any way but if we have the right equipment, infrastructure and personnel, we can boast of achievements. We have a huge challenge in funding but for the support of the Minister.
“And the extent of work done during an investigation determines the cost. For instance, sometimes, we have to send an engine out of the country during an investigation and so, there are several things that can push up the cost of investigation, it is painstaking, you have to ensure you have enough evidence to back up your findings” , he added.
On the collaboration of AIB with other agencies, he lamented that despite pressure on some institutions to see the need to partner, they have refused to do so.
He however said the Memorandum of Understanding signed with some are yielding results.
“Some agencies of government don’t really understand the need for collaboration, it is not the day we have accidents that we will begin to look for who to call. We recent signed an MoU with Nigeria Air Force and one of the benefits is that NAF can use our laboratory for downloading, it is for the benefit of all and the country . As for the National Emergency Agency (NEMA), we have been on it since 2017, but we’ve got some cooperations from the Federal Road Safety Corps, we are going to sign an MoU with the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) to see how we can train their staff, we have done training with Police and the Civil Defence but we are still waiting on the Nigeria Police on an MoU.
” It is very important for all stakeholders to work together in order to achieve results”, he said.
On the use of Drones for investigation, Olateru said trained staff will stall have to be licensed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before drones can be deployed to crash sites.
“We hope to fastrack our licensing with NCAA” , he added.