• Boeing 737 insurance drops from $800,000 to $150,000
Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Accidents Investigation Bureau (AIB-Nigeria) yesterday said Nigeria had one of the best safety record in the whole world, disclosing that in the last six years, Nigeria had only recorded only three fatalities from Opebi Helicopter crashed.
The Bureau, charged to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising from air navigation in or over Nigeria, also revealed that the cost of insuring Boeing 737 had crashed from about $800,000 to $150,000 due to what it ascribed to few accidents within the airspace of Nigeria,
The Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau, Mr. Akin Olateru, revealed this during an oversight visit by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Aviation in Abuja yesterday.
During the visit, the chief executive noted that the implementation of some of their safety recommendations by airline operators “is instrumental to the improvement of the nation’s safety records.”
According to him, before now to insure Boeing 737 cost about $800,000, but today you can insure the same aircraft with between $150,000 – $200,000, this is because there are few accidents and more money is being put in the hands of the operators.
Olateru said Nigeria had one of the best safety record in the whole world, adding that in the last six years, Nigeria has only recorded only three fatalities from Opebi Helicopter crashed.
According to AIB’s chief executive, I do not think there is any country in the world that can boast of such safety records.
He decried the number of avoidable deaths on Nigerian roads daily, noting that the Nigeria Road Safety Corps record of 400 lives lost to road crashes daily should be addressed.
He added that there “is need to have an investigator to investigate road crashes so as to reduce the loss.”
While bemoaning the lack of data of incidents in the Marine transport, he said: “but for the aviation industry, in the history of Nigeria about 2,450 lives have been lost to air crashes.”
While speaking on the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) bill before the National Assembly, Olateru stressed the need to unbundle the agency such that regulator will be separated from the operator to give room for accountability, checks and balances to ensure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.
He however mentioned that the ongoing construction of a training institute was 92 percent completed, stating that the institute, which is first of its kind in Africa, would boost income generation both for the bureau and the federal government and will save Nigeria some forex used in building capacity of Aviation staff abroad.
Responding, a member of the Joint Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji commended AIB for ensuring air safety in Nigeria, saying with the provision of good investigation by AIB and the Nigeria Air safety Management Agency (NAMA), ensuring safety of the airspace would ultimately reduce premium on aircraft
While emphasising the importance of the executive bill for an Act on the Nigeria Safety Investigative Bureau, Nnaji assured the legislators that very soon AIB would become NSIB.
He added that the joint committee on Aviation would look into the agency’s budgetary allocation and see how it can be helped for more allocations for its operations.