A team from Singapore has arrived Nigeria for the training of the technical personnel of the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB on the usage of the Safety Laboratory Equipment situated in Abuja.
The Singaporean team are in the country in the invitation of the Ministry also for the technical evaluation of the laboratory prior to its update.
The team is expected to commence work Monday on the equipment.
AIB commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru said Nigeria decided to call on Singapore for the training of its personnel on the equipment as the Asian country has the same equipment as Nigeria.
He described the laboratory equipment as unique; adding that only Nigeria had the state-of-the-art facility among the West African States.
He said: “We wrote to Singapore because they have the same equipment as ours and graciously, they have agreed to support us with the required manpower and training. The team arrived Nigeria today (Sunday) and would be in Abuja to train us on how to get the best out of this equipment.”
The officials from Singapore is led by Mr. Michael Toft and Mr. Caj Frostel from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) who assisted AIB in the technical evaluation of its Flight Safety Laboratory and capacity development.
In the meantime, the AIB commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru has frown on the criticism that had trailed the request by the AIB for the 10% of the total revenue generated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN to sustain the operations of the bureau.
Of the 10% requested! the minister of state, aviation, Hadi Sirika had approve 5% to be given to the bureau! a situation which had generated reactions from different quaters as concerned stakeholders insisted it was wrong for another agency to finance the burden of another.
Olateru insisted that it was in the purview of the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika to approve 5 per cent of the revenue from Passengers Service Charge (PSC) to the agency from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
He also pointed that AIB only gets a meagre 3 per cent of the revenue from the 5 per cent Ticket Sales Charge and the Cargo Sales Charge (CSC) collected on behalf of the parastalas by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) while other agencies get more.
He mentioned that NCAA in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 2006, gets 58 per cent, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) earns 23 per cent, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) gets 7 per cent while the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) earns 9 per cent of the total sum.
He explained further that of the agencies in the sector, only FAAN earned the PSC 100 per cent, adding that the same agency still collects charges for adverts, parking and landing of aircraft, land and tolls on vehicles coming in and exiting the airports across the country.
He lamented that paucity of funds had stalled the release of the over 35 accident investigation reports, due to non-training of accident investigators since 2013, stressing that the agency needed to develop human capacities in order to compete with others.
He added: “Anybody that says it is not fair for us to get a part of the PSC is wicked because who owns the two agencies? It’s the Federal Government. We all share the TSC and FAAN doesn’t share its PSC with anybody and the government in its wisdom says ‘FAAN, please give AIB 5 per cent.’ I don’t think that is too much. It is within the power of the minister to do that.
“But, one thing that is critical to us is that we have to work on in our budget on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) side is the issue of accident investigation and training. These are critical. We need to build our capacities in accident investigation; there are certain things we need to improve upon, there are processes that we need to review, there is public sentitisation that we need to do.
“All these things cause, money and this is what we have managed to put into the IGR side for 2017. We expect some reasonable money from the PSC to support us to deliver on some of our mandates. We still have to sit with FAAN to see how much this money is and what will the 5 per cent translate to.”
It would be recalled that Olateru had on June 5, 2017 requested from the ministry 10 per cent of the PSC collected by FAAN, citing inadequate funds in the bureau to carry out most of its projects as some of the challenges facing it.