A bill for an act to repeal the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Act on Wednesday scaled through second reading in the Senate.
This followed the presentation of the lead debate by the sponsor and Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi during plenary.
The proposed new law is entitled “Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Bill, 2020”.
The Senate is set to repeal the 16 year-old Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria Act CAP F5 LFN 2004 and enact a new law in its place in order to engender effective management of the nation’s airports.
According to the new legislation, it requires anyone who intends to construct aerodrome to seek the permission of the FAAN as a pre-condition, among others.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, consequently referred the Bill to the Committee on Aviation for further legislative inputs and report back in four weeks.
In another development, the Senate is currently considering a Bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) as an independent Federal Government agency.
This will be responsible for determining the probable cause of all transportation accidents and serious incidents.
The Bill, which is also sponsored by the Senate Leader, if passed into law, would similarly empower the agency to publish findings and make the necessary recommendations to operators, regulators and the general public to promote transportation safety in the country.
In a lead debate on the Bill, Abdullahi recalled that the proposed legislation scaled the First Reading on Nov. 21, 2019.
He noted that in Nigeria, the main modes of transportation were land and air with the recent development and return to the railway system.
“The undesirable risks associated with all modes of transportation include the occurrence of accidents and incidents which may endanger lives and damage property.
“It is, therefore, incumbent upon the state to ensure user safety and provide the appropriate framework by which any safety deficiencies in our transport network system can be thoroughly, objectively and independently investigated with a view to preventing reoccurrences.
“The objective of ensuring safety is best achieved through Research and Investigations into all incidents and accidents conducted by a duly appointed and recognised Authority.
” The outcomes of such investigations would enable the development of appropriate policies and codes of practice, as well as public awareness, with the aim of ensuring acceptable National Transportation Safety standards and practices,” Abdullahi said.
He added that the current practice where regulators and transport operators are involved in the investigative processes of their own incidents, compromises the integrity of the investigations and does not conform to the globally recognised standards.
“Furthermore, the fact that the occurrences of these incidents persist is evidence of the deficiency in the current structure.
“To ensure efficiency and effectiveness in this pursuit, there is a need to create a unified body which is completely independent (in its organisation, operation and decision making processes) from the transport operators.