Nigeria approves US $1.6m to refurbish AIB offices in Abuja

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Nigeria has approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) seeking the refurbishment of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) offices in Abuja as well as the establishment of a training school for accident investigation in the federal capital at the cost of US $1.6m and US $1.8m respectively.

According to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the sum is inclusive of the equipment for the laboratory, which will be sourced from manufacturers.

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Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria is under the Federal Ministry of Aviation and is charged with the responsibility to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria, or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere.

The fundamental objective of AIB is to improve aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air accidents and serious incidents, and providing safety recommendations intended to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. The purpose of this is not to apportion blame or liability. In the past, accident investigations were conducted by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Ministry of Aviation.

The CAD also handled Airworthiness Certification in addition to its investigative functions. These functions were separated to comply with ICAO Annex 8 (Airworthiness of Aircraft) and Annex 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) to avoid issues with objectivity. In 1989, the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) was created and the Civil Aviation Department became the Department of Safety Services within the new FCAA and a new investigative department, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), was created under the Federal Ministry of Aviation.