AIB, Benin Republic sign pact on accident investigation
The AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru, while signing the MoU recently in Abuja explained that the pact was to help Republic of Benin to fulfill international obligation on accident investigation.
He said it was the first time a Nigerian institution was signing a cooperation agreement with a foreign counterpart.
“What we just did today was to help us both fulfill our obligations to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) convention on accident investigation,” Olateru said.
The agreement was in four parts: cooperation, capacity building, exchange of information on accident investigation and assistance in cases of accident.
He further disclosed plans to sign agreement with Sao Tome and Niger Republic, adding that they were reviewing four countries and would be concluded within the next few months.
The AIB Commission pointed out that Benin Republic does not have a robust accident investigation bureau like Nigeria but in case of an accident they would deploy resources to assist them, which would further boost the capacity of their investigators.
He boasted that Nigeria has become a force to reckon with in the whole of Africa in the area of accident investigation and capacity building adding that the country has the needed resources to help other African countries.
The Coordinator, Benin Republic’s Bureau of Air Accident Investigation, Gongo Paul, expressed joy at sealing the pact.
He noted that he was mandated by his government and for the last six-month they had been negotiating with the Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria and so far it has been a smooth negotiation.