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‘Good safety records earn Nigeria low premium on aircraft insurance’

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
04 November 2022   |   2:45 am
Citing improvement in the local aviation safety records, Commissioner of the Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N), Akin Olateru, has disclosed the reduction in insurance premiums paid by airlines operating in the country.

[FILES] An aircraft

Citing improvement in the local aviation safety records, Commissioner of the Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N), Akin Olateru, has disclosed the reduction in insurance premiums paid by airlines operating in the country.

Olateru, who was receiving the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Aviation on an oversight function to the Bureau, noted that the implementation of some of their safety recommendations by airline operators was instrumental to the improvement of the country’s safety records.

According to him, “before now, to ensure Boeing 737 aircraft costs about $800,000, but today you can insure the same aircraft with between $150,000 and $200,000. This is because there are few accidents and more money is being put in the hands of operators,” Olateru said.

He added that Nigeria has one of the best safety records in the world today because in the last six years Nigeria has only recorded only three fatalities from helicopters that crashed at Opebi, Lagos.

“I don’t think there is any country in the world that can boast of such safety records. These are some of the ways AIB contributes to the economic growth of the country,” he said.

While speaking on the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) Bill, pending before the National Assembly, Olateru stressed the need to unbundle the agency such that the regulator would be separated from operators, “to give room for accountability, checks and balances to ensure everyone is doing what is expected”.

He decried the loss of 400 lives to road crashes daily, saying there is a need to have an investigator to investigate road crashes so as to reduce the number of avoidable deaths on Nigerian roads.

While bemoaning the lack of data on incidents in marine transport, Olateru said the aviation industry has recorded and, in the history of Nigeria, it has lost a total of 2,450 lives to air crashes.

The AIB boss added that the ongoing construction of the AIB-N’s training institute was 92 per cent ready. He said further that the institute, which is the first of its kind in Africa, would boost income generation both for the bureau and the federal coffers.

A member of the Joint Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, emphasized the importance of the executive bill for an Act on the Nigeria Safety Investigative Bureau and assured that very soon AIB would become NSIB.