The Federal Government on Tuesday confirmed that it had concluded plans to fully implement air safety recommendations released by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
Giving this hint in Abuja when he received the report of the Safety Recommendation Committee headed by the Commissioner of AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that the committee was set up to look into the safety recommendations made since the inception of AIB.
He was quoted in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs in the Ministry of Transportation, Dr. James Odaudu, as saying that not all the recommendations had been implemented, adding that the purpose of the government for setting up the committee is to achieve full implementation of the recommendations.
Sirika restated that safety and security of aviation industry had been the focus of the current administration as contained in the road map presented to the public at its inception.
He explained: “The fact is that since inception we haven’t had any report of this nature but now that we have it, it behooves on us that we ensure that it be implemented 100 per cent.
“Since we came in, we focused on all of those things that are safety and security critical to the industry. In our own belief and understanding and even in our road map, we set out to review all those things that would enhance safety and security of the industry.
“I had maintained overtime that it is how safe and secure that you depart point A and land point B that is more important in aviation than all the remaining other aesthetics
“We all want to attract investment and make our airport more comfortable but you have to arrive to your destination first before you enjoy comfort and you have to be well secured.
We will continue in this direction to ensure that our industry is safe and secure and once that us achieved the rest is easy”, Sirika added.
He also charged stakeholders in the aviation sector should imbibe safety and security consciousness culture in line with global standards.
On how to guarantee aviation sector safety, the minister said: “Our infrastructure like the terminal building and the rest are the things that we can do overnight and anybody can build an airport anyway but this issues of safety and security are not only out of intellect but are more of culture and tradition. One you create that culture of safety and security consciousness around our airports and around aviation industry, you are going to have a very robust aviation industry”.
“Aviation all over the world is one with the same culture, the same norm, the same practice and you cannot design a Nigerian aviation different from that the United States or that of the Niger. So, this being the case we cannot be found wanting on matters of safety and security”, Sirika maintained.
He restated government’s commitment to develop aviation infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and implement its roadmap to the later.
In his remarks, the AIB Commissioner explained that the Bureau had since inception in 2007, made 130 safety recommendations, adding while 61 per cent of the recommendations had been implemented, eight percent partially implemented, 31 percent were yet to be implemented.
Olateru restated that the mandate of the Bureau was to investigate serious accidents and incidents with a view to preventing future occurrence, saying that the implementation of the recommendations would help the country to prevent accidents and incidents.
Also, a member of the committee, Group Capt. John Ojikutu, (rtd), charged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure full implementation of the recommendations, noting that safety and security of the industry required thorough attention.
To guarantee air travels safety, the industry expert urged government to address the problem of skilled manpower shortage in the sector, especially the Air Traffic Controllers to ensure safety in the industry.