By Lawani Mikairu
A combined team of officials from the International Civil Aviation Organisation ,ICAO, led by Mr. Caj Frostel and Singapore led by Mr. Michael Toft arrived in Nigeria over the weekend to assist Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, in the technical evaluation of its Flight Safety Laboratory and capacity development.
Speaking at the bureau’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos over the weekend, the Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru said that Nigeria decided to call on Singapore for the training of its personnel on the equipment as the Asian country has the same equipment as Nigeria.
The team which is expected to commence work last Monday on the equipment will assist in the training of technical personnel of AIB on the usage of the Safety Laboratory Equipment situated in Abuja and technical evaluation of the laboratory prior to its update. The AIB Boss described the laboratory equipment as unique; stressing that only Nigeria had the state-of-the-art facility among the West African States.
According to him: “ We wrote to Singapore because they have the same equipment as ours and graciously, they have agreed to support us with the required manpower and training. The team arrived Nigeria Sunday and would be in Abuja to train us on how to get the best out of this equipment.”
The Head of Accident Investigation for Banjul Accord Group, BAGAIA, from ICAO who also arrived in the country at the weekend from Canada for the same purpose of training and evaluation of the laboratory, will commence work immediately.
Olateru said that ICAO wanted the entire West African countries to benefit from the laboratory, assuring that with the full usage of the equipment, Nigeria would be a force to be reckoned with in accident investigation.
“Also, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of United States has agreed to come to Nigeria to train our investigators, which will come up sometime in September. They have also agreed that we should send our investigators to them to do the On-the-Job training in their establishment.
“So, these to me will really help AIB because at the end of the day, it’s about building an institution. Building institutions is not just about buying equipment, throwing money at people, it’s about giving them the right exposure, which goes a long way. To me, within the next two years, we will build a very strong institution in AIB, which can take the lead and support the entire West African countries,” the AIB Boss explained.
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