Government reads riot act against extortions at airports
The Federal Government has said that heavy sanctions await officials and agencies caught extorting passengers at airports nationwide, especially the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
This is coming as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it is currently investigating six personnel that were lately caught extorting passengers, with a plan to recommend culprits for life ban from airports nationwide.
Special Adviser to the President on the Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, at a forum for heads of agencies in Lagos, said the Presidency was displeased with reports and trending videos on activities of personnel at the airports.
Oduwole warned that if care is not taken and leaders of these agencies are not held accountable for their subordinates’ actions and inactions, there may be a clean sweep of the entire agencies.
Speaking to uniformed personnel at the airport including FAAN AVSEC, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and Quarantine, Oduwole described the current MMIA as “a no man’s land; a place where officials do anything they liked without consequences.”
Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu, added that the Authority would monthly compile a list of violators and video clips or bank statement of the people that have been extorted or harassed by each agency, and copy the National Security Adviser (NSA), PEBEC and the Minister of Aviation.
Yadudu said: “In the light of all these videos, I called an emergency meeting and I said if this continues and nothing is done, it means, MD FAAN and other agency heads were accomplice and sharing the money.
“But the action we are taking now is, if you are caught, we will inform the NSA. We will enforce discipline and we will not cover up. Cover up is the biggest cause of the issues. Agencies want to cover their own. FAAN wants to cover its own. Stakeholders and airlines want to cover up and that is why people who are doing minimal violations graduate, overtime and become emboldened.
“And others that are not doing it see that there is no advantage because the others have more money and more privileges and so they join. If we identify any bad egg, we will ban him for life, take his ODC and nothing will happen.”