The nation’s aviation industry will go through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) before the end of August 2023.
The Director General, Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Engr. Akin Olateru, who made this known on Friday at the closing ceremony of the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA) peer review exercise in Abuja, said the audit will reveal the safety status of our nation’s aviation industry.
TheFact Daily reports that the last ICAO audit was in 2016.
However, the NSIB has disclosed that Nigeria has one of the best safety records globally.
According to Olateru, “all I can say is that Nigeria as a country, today has one of the best safety records that is all I can say because, how do you measure safety? You measure the number of accidents, you measure fatal accidents, you measure serious incidence, occurrence.
“The fewer occurrences you have, the better you are. You have airlines in the world that never recorded a fatal crash and they have been around for over one hundred years which is an indicator of safety.
“But there is nowhere that you see every country record except the ICAO audit that is the only way you can access seeing any country and we are doing our audit in August. The report should be out and then you will see our performance in terms of safety.
The Director General who reeled out the importance of the peer review exercise said, “today marks the end of EU, EASA/ BAGAIA program in Nigeria. Nigeria has been chosen as a pilot, We are the first to have this programme. It is an EU-sponsored programme.
“Benchmarking and processing with the European processes is the one part of the program to see how we can improve and benchmark our systems and processes and procedures with the EU standards.
“Now the second part is to train our investigators on how to carry out peer review so that we can help other nations and at the end of the day, this is to enhance safety, for the entire not just Nigeria, but the entire region.
“This is collaboration. You know aviation is all about collaboration. This is the only way we can ensure consistency in maintaining that safety record,” he said.
On his part, the BAGAIA Commissioner, Engr. Charles Erhueh said, the programme would enable Member States to meet their safety Regulations and ICAO Annex 13 requirements.
“One important achievement of BAGAIA in the last few years has been zero accident/ hull losses in our airspaces. This has improved our collective safety records and has removed our airlines from various blacklists worldwide.
“This means our individual and collective safety recommendations are being heeded and they are helping to create a safer Airspace”.
“We will also look at how we can infuse technology to make our primary responsibility seamless and also ensure we have well-trained investigators who will midwife a new set of investigators into the field to create capacity that will replace our fast-aging breed of professionals”, he said.
On Nigeria’s air accident rating, he said: “Nigeria is doing very well because we have seven countries. We have Serra Leone, Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Guinea, and Gambia as member states of the region. Nigeria is one of the best in the world in terms of air accident investigation. They do things very well but we recommend that their findings should be properly documented”.