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Nigeria, Saudi Arabia sign pact on accident investigation

By Wole Oyebade (Lagos) and Joke Falaju (Abuja)
06 December 2022   |   12:29 am
Buhari directs reorganisation of aviation agencies in line with Civil Aviation Act Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, yesterday, signed a bilateral pact to enhance capacity on accident investigation and overall safety in the air transport sector. Director General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Akin Olateru, at a brief ceremony in Abuja, said the agreement…

Buhari directs reorganisation of aviation agencies in line with Civil Aviation Act

Hadi Sirika

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, yesterday, signed a bilateral pact to enhance capacity on accident investigation and overall safety in the air transport sector.

Director General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Akin Olateru, at a brief ceremony in Abuja, said the agreement was in line with the imperative of cooperation that modern aviation demands.Olateru said though both countries are well established with equipment and human capital, “there are a lot of lessons we can learn from each other, in terms of human capital development, and Saudi Arabia will help us in one of those areas.”

He said: “There will be an exchange of ideas. To stay in business, you have to continuously evaluate what you do, how you do it and constantly change things to make sure you are on top of your game all the time and in line with reality. That is what we aim to achieve with this partnership.”
His Saudi counterpart, Abdulelah Felemban, added that the agreement would open channel of communication and cooperation between the two agencies.
He said: “The agreement is an executive technical cooperation programme. The benefit for both of us is that there is a lot of experience and learning that come with accident investigation. This cooperation mechanism allows us to exchange knowledge and information.”

Meanwhile, following signing into law of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act 2022, President Buhari has directed Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to reorganise of aviation agencies, in line with the Act.
The new Civil Aviation Act will, among others, remove regulatory functions being carried out by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and place the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the overall regulatory agency, to avoid conflict of interest.

Buhari, who gave the directive at the 13th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Service Negotiation event (ICAN), said implementation of the Civil Aviation Act, which is a critical aspect of ICAO, will further strengthen the sector for improved safety.

The President who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, said adoption of the civil aviation policy, centered on liberalisation and Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives by the current administration, had resulted in significant growth of the industry, including huge investments in the nations airports and has increased capacity of the airports and growth of the domestic airline industry.