The Senate Committee on Aviation has directed the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to make public its findings of aircraft accidents that occurred in the country between 2005 and 2006 which led to the untimely demise of hundreds of air travellers.
Explaining that the move will assist in the prevention of any future occurrence, the committee stated that should the reports be published on national dailies, investors in the aviation industry and the general public will be enlightened. “Investigations are meant to provide insight into the cause or causes of such accidents, and possibly proffer solution to future occurrences,” said Anyim Ude, the Committee Chairman, on Tuesday, at an Aviation Safety Conference organized by the AIB in Lagos. “Reports of such investigations ought to be published for public consumption so that people can know and learn from the findings and recommendations of such investigations.”
Mr Ude noted that the findings of the agency as regards the accidents involving Bellview and Sosoliso airlines in 2005 are still unpublished by the bureau, adding that it is part of the statutory responsibility of the agency to investigate, prevent, and assist in the revealing of air accidents and effective management in air safety. “This is the major way the Accident and Investigation Bureau can impact positively on aviation safety,” he said. “For now there is absence of published reports of previous air crashes in Nigeria. Where are the Bellview and Sosoliso crashes? Where is the report of the ADC 2008 plane crash?.”
An under utilized agency
Mr Ude, however, admitted that the only agency in the aviation industry that is under regulated is the bureau, stressing that out of the 40 sections of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, only 29 deals with accident investigation. “As part of our over sight responsibility, the senate committee on aviation has been concerned about issues that will promote safety, security of our airspace and airport,” he said. “Presently, the committee has in collaboration with an international agency embark on the Act that establish our aviation parastatals in order to solve the problems of overlapping, assignments of responsibilities and inconsistencies inherent in these Acts. At the appropriate time the committee will involve and request these parastatals for their input. In the cause of this amendment, the committee discovered that of all the aviation parastatals, only the AIB is under regulated because only section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006 mentioned accident out of more than 40 sections of that Act, this is inadequate.”
Sam Oduselu, the Commissioner of the AIB, said that the agency had concluded investigations it carried out on the accidents and that there are constitutional recommendations before these findings will be published, adding that the report will be published on the agency’s website once it goes through the statutory requirements. “To the glory of God we have been able to do a research on these accidents and we have actually finished our report but there are statutory requirements for it to go over and that is just what we are waiting for,” he said. “If you noticed when he was saying that I was just laughing because I know I have done my job. Bear with us, very soon you will see it on our website.”