July 16, 2024

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AIB-N Lagos Office Demolition Done Without Prejudice to Its Operations, Nor Any Extant Laws

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Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria Lagos Headquarters before it crashed into rubbles by a bulldozer

Management of the Accident Investigation Bureau- Nigeria, AIB-N, has reacted to concerns of air transport stakeholders and the general public by clarifying that the demolition of its erstwhile corporate headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, did in no way adversely affect its primary mandate.

A media statement by the bureau and signed by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, revealed that the bureau’s headquarters operations had since been effectively moved to Abuja as directed by the Aviation Minister’s memo dated 4th of May 2020.

The statement said AIB-N in 2020 “commenced a phased relocation implementation with the Commissioner/CEO, Directors and some members of staff relocating immediately to Abuja: whilst other members of staff relocation were scheduled for implementation in phases due to accommodation and finance constraints”.

AIB-N stated that since the relocation of the headquarters to Abuja, in compliance to the ministerial directive, its erstwhile corporate headquarters in Lagos has been serving “mostly as a regional administrative liaison office. All its core operational functions/facilities in the discharge of its statutory mandate were positioned in Abuja; except for the command-and-control centre which just recently repositioned safely to Abuja”.

Back view of the erstwhile AIB-N headquarters office, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

In the twelve-point clarification statement on the bureau’s relocation and the demolition of its Lagos office, it stated that both exercises were not done with a fire brigade approach but were very well planned.

On the demolition which ostensibly elicited the ire of the general public, the statement shed light that, “he AIB-N’s Lagos office was inevitably earmarked for demolition due to its location which directly impacts some critical features necessary for the seamless operations of the just commissioned newly constructed terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State.

It stated that ahead of the Lagos headquarters office demolition, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, had allocated an appreciable parcel of land to build the bureau’s headquarters and training school.

Oketunbi in the statement said, “AIB-N was allotted land space at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to build its training school, which is 90% completed, and its proposed new Corporate Headquarters. Meanwhile, talks are ongoing with FAAN to have a suitable location in Lagos as its regional office in addition to the existing two regional offices in Kano and Enugu.

AIB-N former Headquarters office at MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos now lay in ruins. The landmass is earmarked for another safety-critical project, says AIB-N

The media statement also made known that “the Bureau has restructured its operations to fit into the current situation and continues to communicate with all its staff on the ongoing relocation”.

It’s core personnel he said are in top-notch skill-wise and are been guided with the motto of the boys’ scout- “Be prepared”

“All our safety investigators have been trained and are on standby to respond whenever their services are needed”, the statement affirmed.

Tunji Oketunbi reiterated on behalf of AIB-N that nothing will be allowed to negatively impact the bureau’s very critical mandate. He reassured citizens that, “this temporary reshuffling will not in any way affect our operations. AIB-N has invested so much in equipment and technology that will aid the delivery of its mandate seamlessly”., he said.

It reminded those patriotic citizens that exhibited genuine concern for the agency that, AIB was not oblivious of the fact that all land at the airport is in the custody of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and can be retrieved at any time for an overriding public interest, as in the present circumstances.


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