Posted by Sade Williams
In a bid to develop its technical competence and its manpower, the Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation and Prevention Bureau of Ghana is seeking technical and institutional partnership with its counterpart in Nigeria, Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria (AIB-N).
Mr. Akwesi Prempeh, the Commissioner, AAIIPB-Ghana, who led a four-man team to Nigeria at the headquarters of AIB-N in Abuja on Tuesday for a three-day working visit, said that Nigeria’s AIB-N is one of the most developed accident investigation body in the world and for his bureau to grow and remain on track, it required collaboration with its counterpart in Nigeria.
He stated that it was necessary for other bodies on the continent to learn from AIB-N’s expertise, manpower development and others, stressing that collaboration between the two bodies would go a long way to improve safety in the African airspace.
Prempeh specifically said that the essence of the visit was for AAIIPB-Ghana to acquire more knowledge on key policies, regulations, procedures and the structure of AIB-N, stressing that its Flight Safety Laboratory and Command and Control centre were of world class.
He reiterated that AIB-N’s equipment, infrastructure and documentations were in conformity with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommended international best standard practices and promised to incorporate similar policies and programmes into AAIIPB-Ghana.
Besides, Prempeh pointed out that the experience garnered from the AIB-N would enable it to device a mean of financing its bureau, which he said was a new establishment.
Also, he said that plans were under way by the Ghanaian Government to bring some members of its technical staff in the bureau to Nigeria for accident investigation trainings.
Responding, Engr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner, AIB-N, commended the AAIIPB-Ghana for the initiative.
Olateru explained that the Ghanaian accident investigation body as a new entity would require the experience of an institution like AIB-N, noting that such partnership would further enhance inter-country relations.
He noted that AAIIPB-Ghana was not the first bureau to seek technical assistance and partnership with Nigeria and mentioned Republic of Benin as one of those countries AIB-N had signed agreement with in recent times.
He said: “The AAIIPB-Ghana wants to learn from our mistakes and from the things we’ve done very well. They came to inspect our facilities and what we’ve done so far is to take them round to also inspect our equipment. They’ve met with a lot of our investigators and almost all the heads of units.
“They’ve gone through some of our documentations as well, such as our regulation and others. This is an attestation to the fact that we are doing something right in AIB-Nigeria. This is not the first nation to call on us for assistance. We’ve had such calls from the Republic of Benin, which has ceded all their investigations to AIB-Nigeria.”
Olateru reiterated the importance of human capital development, which he said was a basic area that AIB-N would be very useful to Ghana, adding that Nigeria’s safety laboratory would be available for use by the neighbouring African country until it could fund its own project.
Olateru emphasised that the three days working visit afforded the AAIIPB-Ghana the opportunity to visit its Air Safety Investigation Laboratory, Command and Control Unit, the Wreckage, Hangar and its Training School, adding that the team also had a robust interactive engagement with several heads of the units of AIB, especially on the process and procedures for efficient and effective performance of aircraft accident investigation.