This declaration was made during the 7th Aviation Africa Summit in Abuja.
Akineru, who spoke on “Nigeria Evolving Approach To Aviation Safety And Learning From Occurrence Investigation – The NSIB Experience“ explained that the country recorded nine deaths within the period.
“In the last 10 years, there have been two fatal civil accidents leading to the unfortunate loss of 9 souls in Nigeria.
“Between 2005 and 2023, 78 accidents and serious incidents have occurred in the country with four incidents in the safety bulletin amounting to 82 while 260 safety recommendations have been issued…
“Within the period, there were 12 incidents in the safety bulletin totalling 272 safety recommendations, “ he said.
Akin Olateru emphasised that the successful outcomes in aviation safety can be largely attributed to the implementation and enforcement of safety recommendations, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
According to him, legislative changes and the transition of legislative responsibilities over the years have significantly contributed to the improvement of Nigeria’s airspace safety.
Olateru provided historical context by revealing that between 1948 and 2005, there were 154 aviation accidents, 46 of which resulted in fatalities, with a total of 1,445 passenger fatalities.
He also explained that during this period, the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Ministry of Aviation was responsible for both aviation occurrence investigations and airworthiness certification. But this created a peculiar challenge for the Regulator also being the Investigator.
“How could the regulator be expected to objectively investigate herself and hold herself accountable in cases where contributing causes of occurrences were traced to poor or non-existent regulatory oversight function and enforcement by her?” he asked.
“It was becoming clear that we had to re-jig our aviation safety regulations and accident investigation and bring them to par with relevant ICAO annexes and international best practices,” he said.
Olateru added that NSIB approaches to aviation safety and learning from occurrence investigation had led to safer skies over Nigeria.
Key components of these approaches include the separation of investigative from regulatory functions, granting autonomy and investigative independence to the Investigator (NSIB) and emphasis on early release of accident reports.
Others, he said were the synergy between regulator (NCAA) and investigator (NSIB) in the monitoring and enforcement of safety recommendations, MoUs for collaboration with neighbouring countries to help with investigations and sharing of facilities and information.
The NSIB boss also identified the development of a mechanism for early reporting of occurrence and the development of identified technical skills amongst NSIB staff.
“Engaging the public and stakeholders on the need to report occurrences as soon as they happen or become aware of them (Mandatory & voluntary) as part of the evolving approaches to accident investigation in Nigeria.
“Also, training of first responders on what to do at accident sites and keeping an occurrence database for analysis to identify trends and patterns,” he said