The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau and the Bureau Enquêtes-Accidents of Benin Republic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on accident investtigation.
The MoU was signed on the sideline of the ongoing workshop on accident investigation for African countries organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation on Wednesday in Abuja.
While signing the MoU, Akin Olateru, AIB Commissioner, said the two countries would partner in the area of accident investigation, capacity building and information sharing, to enhance standards.
Olateru said the partnership would help the nations’ accident authorities fulfill their international obligations in accident investigation.
According to him, the agreement in the MoU is in four parts — cooperation, capacity and human development, exchange of information and assistance.
He said the two countries would assist each other in the event of an accident in any of the countries by combining their resources and expertise to conduct the investigation.
According to him, AIB will be signing another MoU with Sao Tome, Niger Republic and other countries within the next few months.
He said: “All these today between Republic of Benin and Nigeria is to help us both to fulfill our obligations with regards to ICAO convention on accident investigation.
“The synergy will go a long way to enhance capacity of our investigators because they will be working with each other to investigate accidents in any of the countries.
“It is about capacity building at the end of the day; if you look at it because the more you practice the more you learn in accident investigation practices because there are no two same accidents and it takes years to fully train an accident investigator.
“This for us is to enhance our capability and boost our expertise in terms of accident investigation and as at today, Nigeria is the leader in terms of accident investigation in Africa.”
Bongo Paul, Head of Bureau Enquêtes-Accidents, Benin Republic, said he was glad to have signed the MoU with Nigeria, adding that the negotiation for the partnership had been on for six months.
Paul said it was significant to have entered into the partnership with a next door neighbouring country in addition to the ones with European countries.
He said the idea was to enable Benin to fulfill its obligations in the area of accident investigation through capacity building.