By LAWANI MIKAIRU
The new Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru yesterday said technical training of staff will be the priority of his tenure in order to achieve his vision of making the agency “the biggest in the nation’s aviation industry.”
Olateru stated this yesterday at the handing-over ceremony at the agency’s headquarters at Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA. He appealed to management and the entire staff to cooperate with him in order to achieve this vision.
The new AIB Boss commended the immediate past Commissioner, Dr. Felix Abali for improving the parastatal from where he met it and keeping it together over the years despite the “missiles”.
Olateru said: “I thank you for keeping this place together despite the missiles. I have heard a lot about AIB. I know it is the smallest in the ministry, but, before the end of my tenure, I will ensure that the agency becomes the biggest of all. That’s my mission”.
“However, for that to happen, I will require the maximum cooperation of all staff. I can’t do it alone, but we are here to make it happen. It is for the benefit of all staff of AIB if we can make this organisation to work. It’s not about size sometimes, but about efficiency and effectiveness.”
“This is a new dawn and I am begging everyone to give this new administration a chance. Whatever that has happened in the past, let it be in the past. Aviation is highly technical, very expensive and the most regulated in the world. At the end of the day, we are all going to be happy because everyone will go on training and more opportunities would be given to people.”
Earlier, the former AIB Commissioner, Abali commended the entire staff for their support towards him as the Commissioner of the agency and called on them to support the new administration.
He, however, appealed to some of the disgruntled elements in the system to sheath their sword for the growth of the organisation.
“I thank the management and staff for their supports for me through thick and thin. And for those who were bent on destroying the agency, I don’t know what else to tell them to change their minds. I’ve spoken with them, but all to no avail,” he said.
The new AIB Commissioner is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with Nigerian, UK and USA licences, he began his career in engineering maintenance with Pan African Airlines and the Nigerian Police Air Wing from where he left Nigeria for further studies abroad; in the course of which period he also worked with multiple airlines in Europe including KLM, Martin Air in Holland, British Aerospace Engineering UK and British Midland Airways UK.
On his return to Nigeria in 2003 and with an M.SC in Air Transport Management from the City University, London (the 2nd Nigerian citizen to bag that degree at the time), where amongst other specializations he studied and made in-depth research and simulations into accident investigations at post graduate level.
Mr. Olateru worked with Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited (SHACOL) a 100% government owned company prior to its Privatization. There he served sundry roles including Head Safety and Quality Assurance and Group Head Operations, Marketing and Business Development .