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AIB to sign MOU with Saudi Arabia to train accident investigators

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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria has concluded plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia for the training of its investigators.

Speaking at a news conference in Lagos on Sunday, AIB’s Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, said the training would build the capacity of its investigators in the area of air accident investigation.

Olateru said the training would focus on looking beyond the Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) in accident investigation.

He explained that Saudi Arabia had some expertise the bureau wanted to tap into to make its investigation reports better.

The commissioner added that the Ministry of Justice had given clearance to the bureau to sign the MoU.

He said the MoU would be signed in September adding that the signing would have been done before now but was delayed due to ongoing Hajj exercise.

Olateru said: “AIB Nigeria has gained credibility since 2017 in accident investigation which has attracted many countries of the world to seek its assistance in the area of power training, setting up their own bureau among others.

“Currently, we have signed an MoU with France, Republic of Benin, Sao Tome and Principe and in the next one month, we will be signing with Saudi Arabia, these are great nations.

“It is not everything you will see on the Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder.

“So, the training will make our accident investigation much better because each country has its own benefit.

“These are great nations but to me you must have something sellable, you must have something they admire in you before they want to sign an MOU with you.”

Olateru said the Republic of Benin signed an MOU with AIB to come to its aid whenever there was serious accident or incident so it could investigate it and come up with safety recommendations to prevent recurrence.

He added that the same assistance would go to Gambia as it had an agreement with the country through Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA ) the bureau had helped Gambia.

According to him, presently, Gambia now has an independent accident investigation through the help of Nigeria.

“We supported in writing the country’s accident investigation regulations.

“They came to Nigeria, they sat with us for two weeks and we put them through and they went back to Gambia; today it has been passed by their parliament.

“These are the kind of technical expertise we have been doing to help our African countries,” he said.

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