Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N), Engr. Akin Olateru, has revealed plans to further reposition the Bureau during the period of his second tenure in office, stating wokers welfare as top priority.
Olateru, while responding to questions during the week, he said workers welfare was a priority on the list, adding that apart from this, there are plans to acquire more equipment to aid accident investigation.
“There are a few items on the list. Priority number one is the issue of staff welfare. The issue of training, issue of promotion and equipping our staff with the right tools and things that will make them happy.
“For instance, going to the accident site with the right operational vehicle and the whole things that will give them satisfaction.
“Number two priority is to ensure that we continue to deliver our mandate, it is clear that we investigate serious incident and accident and it has to be done to the highest professional level. The best that can be done is to release a report in good time and the quality of the report should be topnotch and the fact should be clear and it must be communicated in a way the reader can understand. All this will make AIB an enviable place to work”, he said.
Speaking about the President’s National safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) Bill, he stated that the engagement is over 96% and all the key agencies have shown interest especially as the Bill is coming direct from the President.
According to him, “Since the public hearing at the National Assembly, there has been a lot of consultations taking place and that happened till the end of my first term. From next week (this week), I will re-engage the consultation with major stakeholders and the consultation side is about 96 per cent done and it is just to finish up with it within the next two weeks and passed it to the National Assembly.
“You must understand that the NSIB Bill is an executive bill sponsored by the executive and it is not a private bill. The bill was debated at the Federal Executive Council and it was approved by Mr. President before it was sent to the National Assembly. I guess these stakeholders you are talking about are still under the presidency and this bill is not AIB, bill but it was the initiative of the presidency.
“If a minister takes a decision, is there any need to consult any agencies under him again? It is not done. The heads of these agencies were at the FEC meeting and a circular was circulated to that effect on the bill proposal and if there had been any objection, it will have been made known”, he added.
On his assessment of the sector since the breakout of COVID-19, the AIB-N boss said Nigeria has fared well even when developed countries could not weather the storm in some areas.
“One thing is that aviation is not a Nigerian thing, but a global and governed by international treaties and agreement and COVID-19 is not a Nigeria thing but a global issue.
“If you asked me from the management of the situation locally what do I think? I think the government has really done well from the way they have managed the pandemic so far considering the rate of infection, the death.
“I can tell you that we have done well than most of the richest countries, even though we are not the richest, but we have done excellently well. Besides, aviation in Nigeria is slightly different from other part of the world. We beat all this world analysis because we have peculiarities different.
“Look at our domestic and international operations, while most flights around the world are going half, ours is full. If you want to fly to Abuja and you don’t book three or four days ahead, you are not going anywhere.
“So in terms of assessment, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I think we are still doing very well; we just need to keep up with the standard and make flight enjoyable for passengers”.