Senate, experts seek better security for airports, FAAN upbeat
Disturbed by last weekend’s abduction of workers at the staff quarters of Kaduna airport, the Senate and aviation stakeholders have urged the Federal Government to immediately improve security around the nation’s gateways.
This comes as a professional, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), sought establishment of a national committee for better coordination and response to prevailing threats.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, during an oversight visit to relevant agencies at the weekend, submitted that the Kaduna attack was symptomatic of the general insecurity in the country.
He submitted that it is high time the Federal Government improved funding of aviation agencies for self-protection and embraced state policing to tackle the disturbing insecurity.
Adeyemi regretted that amid the population explosion over the years, Nigeria’s security architecture had remained same in the face of porous borders.
Ojikutu argued that the issue at hand required the undivided attention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by way of update of airports’ emergency and security management programmes.
His words: “We may request support from the military especially the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for support. The trend of attacks may be rehearsal of big things waiting to happen. We must direct what happened at Kaduna airport to the responsible civil and airport authorities.
“For too long, we have recklessly abandoned the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Part 1 of Annex 17 for the establishment of a national aviation security committee (not civil aviation) consisting of heads of all the government security agencies working in the airport. This committee is expected to approve the civil aviation security programmes written by the NCAA.”
Responding, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Hamisu Yadudu, assured Nigerians that the Kaduna facility would not be shut, adding that the safety of staff and flyers had been prioritised.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, lamented that after more than 24 hours into the abduction, the affected families were yet to be contacted.
SIMILARLY, the FAAN boss said security had been strengthened around airports and staff quarters in the northern region.
He submitted that his administration had been working with security agencies and state governments to stabilise the situation.
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