Buhari Removes NIMET DG, Reappoints Olateru as AIB Commissioner

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By Chinedu Eze in Lagos and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Director-General of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Professor Sani Mashi, and replaced him with Professor Bako Mansur.

The president also reappointed the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N), Akin Olateru, who ended his first tenure in December 2020, and also appointed Captain Modibbo Alkali Mahmud as the new Rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) Zaria.

A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs of the Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, said the changes were in line with the administration commitment to the implementation of the Aviation Development Roadmap.

The ministry said: “President Buhari has approved some reorganisations within the agencies under the Ministry of Aviation. Consequently, he has approved the appointment of Professor Bako Mansur Matazu as the new director-general of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), who replaces Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi.

“Professor Matazu holds a doctorate in Geography (Applied Meteorology), with membership of the Nigerian Environmental Society, African Forestry Forum, Nigerian Meteorological Society, the Climate Change Network, Nigeria, and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Nigeria (REEN). He was until his appointment the general manager, Meteorological Research in the Agency.”

The ministry also stated that the president approved the appointment of Captain Modibbo Alkali Mahmud as the new rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria.

The new rector holds the Airline Transport Pilot Licences of the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Embraer, Citation and other international professional certifications.

Until his appointment, Modibbo had served in various capacities, including Pilot in Training, Fleet Captain at Dornier Aviation Nigeria, Max Air and other organisations, and has clocked about 6,000 hours of flying career.

“In a related development, the president has also approved the reappointment of Akin Olateru as the Commissioner / Chief Executive Officer of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria. An Aircraft Maintenance engineer with Nigerian, United Kingdom and USA licences, Olateru began his career in engineering maintenance with Pan African Airlines and the Nigerian Police Air Wing after which he left Nigeria for further studies abroad.

“He has also worked with multiple airlines in Europe, including KLM, Martin Air in Holland, British Aerospace Engineering and British Midland Airways. He attended City University in London, and graduated with M.Sc in Air Transport Management with specialisations in research and simulations into accident investigations,” the statement added.

The ministry said all the appointments are with immediate effect, adding that it should be noted that the “reorganisation is a continuous exercise that will involve other management staff of all agencies of the ministry.”