The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, has lauded the federal government for approving that five per cent of the revenue from Passengers Service Charge, PSC, should be remitted to the bureau.
The approval for the remittance of the revenue, collected by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, was given by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru, made the disclosure when he spoke to journalists on Sunday at the bureau’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Mr. Olateru decried the criticisms that had trailed the move from a section of the aviation industry, noting that several AIB projects had been stalled because of paucity of funds.
He said: “Anybody that says it is not fair for us to get a part of the PSC is wicked because who owns the two agencies? It is the federal government.
“We all share the Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and FAAN doesn’t share its PSC with anybody and the government in its wisdom says ‘FAAN, please give AIB five per cent.’ I don’t think that is too much. It is within the power of the minister to do that.”
He said the AIB only gets a meagre three per cent of the revenue from the five per cent TSC and the Cargo Sales Charge, CSC, collected on behalf of the parastatal agencies by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, while other agencies get more.
According to him, NCAA in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 2006, gets 58 per cent, while the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, earns 23 per cent.
Mr. Olateru added that the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, gets seven per cent, while the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, earns 9 per cent of the total sum.
He noted that of the agencies in the sector, only FAAN earns the PSC 100 per cent and still collects charges for adverts, parking and landing of aircraft and tolls from vehicles coming in and exiting the airports across the country.
The AIB commissioner said paucity of funds had stalled the release of the over 35 accident investigation reports, due to non-training of accident investigators since 2013.
Meanwhile, a combined team of officials from Singapore and the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, have arrived in Nigeria on Sunday to assist AIB in the technical evaluation of its Flight Safety Laboratory and capacity development.
Mr. Olateru, who confirmed the development, said the Singaporean team was led by Michael Toft, while Caj Frostel led the ICAO team.
He said that Nigeria decided to call on Singapore for the training of its personnel on the equipment as the Asian country had the same equipment.
Mr. Olateru described the laboratory equipment as unique, noting that only Nigeria had the state-of-the-art facility among West African countries.
“We wrote to Singapore because they have the same equipment as ours and graciously, they have agreed to support us with the required manpower and training
“The team arrived Nigeria today (Sunday) and will be in Abuja to train us on how to get the best out of this equipment,’’ he said.
Mr. Olateru explained that ICAO wanted the entire West African countries to benefit from the laboratory, hence the presence of its team for the same purpose.
“This will really help AIB because at the end of the day, it is about building an institution.
“Building institutions is not just about buying equipment, throwing money at people; it is about giving them the right exposure, which goes a long way.
“To me, within the next two years, we will build a very strong institution in AIB, which can take the lead and support the entire West African countries.’’