The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is under the Federal Ministry of Aviation and is charged with the responsibility to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria, or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere.
The fundamental objective of AIB is to improve aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air 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.
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 shall operate as an Agency to guarantee expeditious response and movement of staff to accident sites. The policy also states that the Bureau shall be responsible for the investigation of aircraft accidents and serious incidents as well as publication of investigation reports.
The Civil Aviation Act 2006 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 is headed by a Commissioner who is also the Chief Executive Officer.