The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) is under the Federal Ministry of Aviation and is charged with the responsibility to investigate any transportation accident and serious incident occurring either in or over Nigeria or occurring to Nigerian registered aircraft, ship, train or vehicle elsewhere.
The fundamental objective of NSIB is to improve transportation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of transportation accidents and serious incidents, and providing safety recommendations intended to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. The purpose of this is not to apportion blame or liability.
NSIB, before it was transmuted into a multimodal transportation investigation body, was known as the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and was charged with investigating air accidents and serious incidents within Nigeria and anywhere Nigerian interest is affected.
The NSIB Act of establishment, NSIB Act 2022, replaces the establishment Act of the AIB under the Civil Aviation Act 2006.
In the past, accident investigations were conducted by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Ministry of Aviation. The CAD also handled Airworthiness Certification in addition to its investigative functions.
These functions were separated to comply with ICAO Annex 8 (Airworthiness of Aircraft) and Annex 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) to avoid issues with objectivity.
In 1989, the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) was created and the Civil Aviation Department became the Department of Safety Services within the new FCAA and a new investigative department, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), was created under the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Policy of 2001 recommended the creation of a financially independent Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau, which operated as an Agency to guarantee expeditious response and movement of air safety investigators to accident sites. The policy also stated that the Bureau shall be responsible for the investigation of aircraft accidents, serious incidents and the publication of investigation reports.
The Civil Aviation Act, 2006, Section 29 is the primary law that established the Accident Investigation Bureau as an autonomous agency that reports to the President of the Federation through the Honourable Minister of Aviation. The Bureau was headed by a Commissioner who was also the Chief Executive Officer.
The Bureau, under the NSIB Act 2022, is headed by a Director-General who is also the Chief Executive Officer.