Journalism of Courage

FEC approves N707m for AIB’s accident investigation tool

The minister said the Council approved leasing of aircraft to start the national carrier operations, adding that Nigeria Air will start with three airlines.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has allocated a sum of €1,506,285.7 (N707.96 million) for the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) for the deployment of investigation instruments in the nation’s aviation industry.

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika,  told State House reporters after Wednesday’s FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

According to Sirika, the tool will permit the accident investigation to be able to decode goings on in-flights.

The minister said the Council approved the leasing of aircraft to start the national carrier operations, adding that Nigeria Air will start with three airlines.

“I presented two memoranda on the national carrier to allow Nigeria to lease aircraft to start operations. That has been approved by the council and the second is the deployment of investigation tools by the Accident Investigation Bureau.

“That tool will permit the Accident Investigation Bureau to be able to decode goings on in flights, and God forbid, should there be a need to investigate the accident or incident, the tool will help them to be able to do so.

“That procurement is for 1,506,285.7 euros which is equivalent to N707,962,864.83. This will be including taxes at a central bank exchange rate of 472 in Euro with the delivery period of 11 months and is awarded to Messers Integrated Contract Services Limited for AIB,” Sirika said.

On the number of aircraft Nigeria Air will kick off with, he explained: “We have said in our outline business case which was earlier approved, that we are starting with three aircrafts for the first instance and then we progress.

“We will have a mixture of Airbus and Boeings because every airline that will grow big uses the two.

“We will start with domestic flights and then we grow to become international and then we move to become regional and intercontinental.”

On the challenges facing the aviation sector, Sirika said: “We are finding solutions to those problems and the cost of fuel is also being attended.”

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