The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on preserving critical evidence at crash sites.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony at the LASEMA office in Lagos, the Director-General, NSIB, Mr Akin Olateru, said it was important for agencies and organisations to partner in the interest of the country.
Olateru explained that partnership would further enhance safety and preservation of critical evidence at crash sites in cases of serious incidents and accidents involving any mode of transportation.
The director-general said the bureau had also volunteered to train over 200 staff of LASEMA in accident management.
Olateru explained that NSIB was not the first responder in accident cases, but noted that it was necessary for the agency to partner with first responders such as LASEMA, police, military and other critical organisations.
According to him, the partnership with LASEMA will aid accuracy of accident investigation and prevent recurrence.
Olateru recalled that it had in the past six years made attempts to partner with some government agencies, but failed to achieve this purpose.
He lauded the LASEMA management for agreeing to the MoU within five months of its first proposal.
“We had an initial meeting in March this year, which gave birth to this MoU that we are signing today.
“We have been pursuing some organisations in the last six years and nothing positive has come out of it. Whatever MoU we sign with organisations, it is for the interest of the nation.
“We are not the first responder in cases of accident; we are investigators. The first responders need to know their roles and we need to know ours, too.
“We are happy to train the staff of agencies. This is necessary for them to know what we do and how we go about them.
“Evidence needs to be preserved at crash sites. Partnering with an agency like LASEMA is good for our country. Lagos State is the size of four to five states in Europe.
“We will be deceiving ourselves when we say there will not be disasters. There will be disasters, but we need to partner for it so we can reduce the impact of the disasters.” he said.
The director-general noted that the new NSIB Act 2022 empowered it to investigate serious incidents and accidents in all modes of transportation with the aim of boosting safety.
He said the technical staff of LASEMA would be trained in batches by the Southern California Safety Institute of the United States of America (USA).
Earlier, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Permanent Secretary, LASEMA, said the authority had signed MoUs with various organisations, including 25 United Nations agencies and a higher institution in the state.
Oke-Osanyintolu said the MoU would further assure the people of Lagos of the agency’s readiness to respond swiftly and manage any emergency.
He said that the State Government had, in recent years, expended billions of naira in the procurement of state-of-the-art ambulance vehicles and training of qualified personnel to equip the agency to manage disasters in the state.
“We also say that disaster management is the responsibility of everyone. We are signing this MoU with NSIB to take care of the airspace in case of an emergency or disaster.
“When the unfortunate aircraft accident happened earlier in the week, we worked together with the officials of NSIB at the crash site and our effort ensured that there was no mortality in the accident.” The permanent secretary said.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria