The federal government has repealed the Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria (AIB-N) Act 2006 and replaced it with the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) Act 2022.
Also, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has gazetted the new Act, which has further expanded the scope of work of the bureau.
Nairametrics gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the new Act earlier in the week.
The implications: With this, the nomenclature of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in AIB-N has changed from Commissioner to Director-General, NSIB.
Also, NSIB is now responsible for the investigation of air, marine, rail and other modes of transportation serious incidents and accidents in Nigeria and anywhere the country’s interest is affected.
A circular received from the National Assembly with the reference number: NASS/CAN/51/Vol.2/145, dated November 28, 2022, and signed by Ojo Olatunde Amos, the clerk to the National Assembly and addressed to the Director-General, NSIB and sighted by our correspondent, conveyed the message to the bureau.
“The new Act will further enhance safety in all modes of transportation in the country as serious incidents and accidents would be investigated and recurrence prevented,” he said.
AIB-N, with its investigations and timely release of safety recommendations has in the last seven years enhanced safety within the sector. This would now be replicated in other modes of transportation in the country.
Expanding the operations of AIB-N into a multimodal agency was one of the cardinal programmes of Engr. Akin Olateru, the commissioner of the bureau when he assumed office in 2017.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the proposal for AIB to investigate multimodal incidents and accidents in 2018 and a bill to that effect was presented at the National Assembly for approval the same year.
Olateru had said that with the passage and consent of the president, AIB would have the constitutional power to investigate all modes of transportation incidents and accidents and equally issue safety recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
Safety assurance: He assured that with such power, rail, road and maritime accidents would be reduced to the barest minimum, while safety would further be enhanced in the country.
He had said: “We are currently working on the possibility and the approval of AIB going multimodal. Going multimodal means we are going to be investigating not just the air accident; we are going to be investigating rail accidents; we are going to be investigating marine accidents and road accidents. We are joining nations around the world that operate this multimodal system of operations.
“Last year, the Federal Executive Council approved our proposal – the new draft bill for AIB. Before the Senate went on recess, this bill is on the table of the Senate and hopefully, before the end of this year, this bill will be passed, which would make AIB Nigeria one of the top nations that do multimodal work.”
In a bid to make it effectively carry out the investigations, Olateru said more transport professionals in rail, maritime and road would be employed to beef up its current staff strength.