Mr Akin Olateru, the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau ( AIB ), has emphasised the need for members of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers ( NAAPE ) to discharge their duties professionally.
The commissioner’s call is in a statement by Mr Tunji Oketunbi, the Head, Public Affairs, AIB, on Sunday in Lagos.
Oketunbi stated that the commissioner made the call when a delegation of NAAPE, led by its President, Mr Abednego Galadima, paid a courtesy visit to Olateru at the AIB headquarters.
Olateru said the Nigerian aviation industry would experience more growth and safe flight operations if aircraft engineers and pilots in various organisations displayed professionalism in carrying out their responsibilities.
He lauded NAAPE for the pragmatic approach in dealing with managements of various organisations in the industry, noting that the attitude had brought stability to the sector and enjoined them to continue in the same manner.
The commissioner said “there is no organisation without workers and if there is no organisation, there will be no workers. Your association has demonstrated enough professionalism.
“It is not about money. For some unions, it is for the highest bidders, but you have been consistent with the truth.
“Without NAAPE, there is no aviation. NAAPE is the most important union in the industry. I am not, however, saying that other unions are not important but everything surrounds aircraft. If there is no aircraft, there is no aviation.
“NAAPE comes first in the industry. So, I will want you to urge your members to be more professional in the discharge of their duties.”
Commenting on the release of accident reports by the bureau, Olateru observed that none of its reports had been faulted by any individual or organisation in recent times.
He attributed this to the new approach by the current management, which removed accident reports from the apron string of individuals to collective contributions.
He explained that because of the quality of work done by investigators, no engine or aircraft manufacturer had faulted the reports of the agency on aircraft incident or accident.
“The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, recently told me not to rush reports that could be faulted by anyone.
“So, I took time to go through the process to show him that our reports can’t be faulted. Our reports are not done individually again.
“We now have groups comprising experienced and inexperienced investigators. No one personalises reports again. And after the groups have finished their work with the draft reports, we send them to stakeholders for comments and observations.
“On getting feed backs, we now do a general review, which involves virtually all the investigators, before it goes out for proof reading,”he said.
Olateru noted that aviation industry anywhere in the world was technical and volatile, stressing that whatever developments that took place in other sectors also affect aviation industry.
He pointed out that the minister was working with Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN ) to ensure that interest rate on loans obtained by investors in the sector was not more than nine per cent, which would go a long way in improving standards in the sector.
Olateru emphasised that it required expertise for an investor to run an airline business successfully and enjoined investors in the sub-sector to allow proven professionals to run the businesses.
In his remarks, Galadima commended Olateru for bringing stability to AIB within a short period of time.
He promised that the association would work with the management, especially in the area of accident prevention and would sensitise members on non-hazard and violation according to Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO ).
He added that “we want to see that the industry grows. We are here to see that aviation in Nigeria grows and gets a win-win for employees and employers.
“We recognise that AIB has paucity of funds, but despite this, the bureau has been paying the licence fee to NAAPE members in the agency.
“I will also use this opportunity to call for the release of promotion letters to our members in your organisation as the year is running out. Also, I seek proper placement as it affects our members. We will support you, but as friends, we will also tell you the truth.”
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