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NSIB, LASEMA, NRC partner to enhance safety on rail, roads

By Benjamin Alade
23 March 2023   |   5:37 am
The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has assured that it would release its report on the train and the Lagos State staff bus accident that occurred at Ikeja area of the state earlier this month.

• Bureau to release report on train accident in Lagos soon
The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has assured that it would release its report on the train and the Lagos State staff bus accident that occurred at Ikeja area of the state earlier this month.

This is as the bureau has agreed to deepen its relationships with the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on ways of enhancing safety in the rail and road sector.

The agencies have agreed to set up a committee to work on the MoU in order to further boost the relationship among the organisations. Speaking during courtesy visits to the two organisations in Lagos yesterday, Director-General, NSIB, Akin Olateru, said that its investigators had begun investigation into the causal and contributory factors of the March 9, 2023 train and bus accident in Lagos.

He explained that its report, which would be made public, would also include safety recommendations to both parties on how a recurrence could be avoided in the future.

Speaking at LASEMA, Olateru regretted the accident, which claimed 10 lives and assured the Lagos State Government that its investigators would do a thorough job and come up with safety recommendations.

He, however, said that it does not impose blame on any party, rather, issue safety recommendations on how such accidents could be prevented in the future.

He explained that NSIB has well-trained 45 investigators who are deep on investigation of rail and maritime serious incidents and accidents.

“We have 45 well-trained investigators who are well-trained in the United States, Singapore Academy and others. So, we do what we do well. It takes time to carry out investigations.

“But, for this, I don’t think it will take time because some of our investigators have already been trained on train and maritime investigation.

“All the accidents and serious incidents that we have investigated in the past, we made them public. There is no hiding of anything, but the thing is we don’t blame anyone. We have the causal and contributory factors that would tell you why the accident happened.”

The Director-General also sought partnership between NSIB and LASEMA on capacity building, training and exchange of ideas.

At the NRC, Olateru also reiterated that the report on the accident would be issued to the public soon and explained that the new NSIB Act 2022 followed the due process before it was enacted and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He explained that the essence of the new Act was to minimise all forms of road accidents in the country and save more lives.

He said: “It is a decision of the Federal Government to do this. Before the passage of this Act, Nigerian Railway Corporation was the regulator, investigator and also the service provider.

“This is conflict of interest and in the wisdom of the Federal executive Council (FEC) in 2018, I made a presentation for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for centralising all accident investigation in Nigeria in all modes of transportation.”

In his response, Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, expressed delight to work with NSIB.
He explained that the coming onboard of the bureau would improve safety of lives and equipment, while recurrence would also be prevented.

He, however, said that the coming of NSIB to investigate train accidents was not a threat to the organisation, rather, it would serve as a boost to the rail system in the country.

Earlier in his presentation, Permanent Secretary, LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, showed some slides on the train-bus accident and how its agency was able to minimise the casualties.

He explained that LASEMA, like in the past, was swift, effective and efficient in its response to the train-bus collision due to the various layers of information and action plan already established by the Lagos State Government.

According to him, its officials were at the scene of the accident within 10 minutes while rescue operations commenced immediately.

He sought partnership with NSIB in the areas of training and acquisition of equipment to further increase safety in the sector.

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