Managing Nigeria’s Scarce Resources
Recently, a new bill was passed by the Nigerian Senate to scrap one of the key agencies in the aviation industry, the Accidents Investigation Bureau (AIB) and merging its functions with other related agencies in other aspects of the transport sector.
The move to have AIB, which is responsible for accident and incident investigation in the aviation industry is set to be merged with other agencies saddled with safety is perceived by most transport veterans as a controversial one.
Should AIB be merged with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) responsible for safety on the Nigeria sea? How would the new safety agency align with the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) responsible for safety on the roads?
Although the merger is likely going to happen according to the proposed bill that has passed through the second reading at the Senate, one would wonder if these issues can be ideally collapsed into one agency.
While this has raised several unanswered questions, there are also concerns that a new agency to be instituted for the onus of safety across transport modes would cost the nation colossal sums that could be saved if AIB is expanded to cover the new areas.
The new bill will establish a new agency to investigate causes of air, road, rail and water accidents in Nigeria.
The bill titled: ‘The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (Establishment) Bill, 2020’, was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi.
Abdullahi posits that Accident Investigation Bureau was doing a similar thing in the aviation sector as others where doing in other aspects of the transport sector.
He said, “The current practice where regulators and transport operators are involved in the investigative processes of their own incidents compromises the integrity of the investigations and does not conform to the globally recognised standard.
“The purpose of the NSIB is to enable the segregation of investigative activities and promote safety through the conduct of transparent, independent and objective investigations in all cases of serious incidents and accidents involving any of the current modes of transport in Nigeria.”
However, in setting up a new agency cost effects of operations needs to be looked into, this agency might be performing similar roles but their functions are different based on the aspects of the transport sector they belong.