Security Managers across airports in the country have been charged to up their game at various levels and develop well-coordinated and robust measures in order to mitigate the worrisome sophisticated trend of terrorism, cybercrime, insider threat among others.
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The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Capt Hamisu Yadudu, who gave this charge at the Annual Retreat of Aviation Security personnel in Benin City said, there was a need to address the ever-evolving and increasing security threats in the aviation industry that have assumed an alarming rate globally.
Represented by the Director of security services, FAAN, Capt Usman Abubakar Sadiq, Yadudu noted that security of civil aviation was top priority saying that States have an obligation to maintain an efficient air transport system with a view to managing confusion and disorder in airport terminals as essential to the security of the system.
Yadudu, said FAAN had embarked on a strategic restructuring of its security and safety initiatives adding that under the present administration there had been provision and procurement of new scanning security equipment with the latest technology capable of explosive and narcotics detection.
The FAAN boss said the X-ray equipment comprised of passenger Cabin baggage scanners, hold baggage scanners, body scanners and walk through metal detectors were being produced in factories and would be delivered on scheduled and deployed to all the five international airports and local ones.
Yadudu remarked that the construction of bi-metal security fence with anti-climb and intrusion detection systems were ongoing in Benin, Ilorin, Owerri Port Harcourt and Kaduna.
According to the FAAN boss, upgrade of CCTV was ongoing in some airports and in various stages of completion, stressing that the Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja and four others would be ready soon while other airports are also being worked on.
Yadudu said that the huge investment in technological equipment had been matched by the capacity building in terms of recruitment and training.
A total of 727 aviation security and aerodrome rescue and fire fighting officers according to the FAAN boss were recruited, trained and graduated from the security Institute in Kaduna.
In his keynote address at the occasion, the Director of security services Capt. Usman Abubakar Sadiq said the aim of the retreat was to seek ways primarily to enhance security at airports in view of global threats especially as it affects the industry.
Others are challenges faced in the course of the enhancement of security and prospects to improve the quality of services rendered at airports through technology without compromising security.
Represented by the General Manager, Aviation Security services, Mr Zakari Mahmuda, Capt. Sadiq commended the minister of aviation for his painstaking and commitment to the growth and development of the aviation industry particularly, the aviation security.
He said the approval by the government for AVSEC personnel to bear arms and the engagement of 500 AVSEC to existing manpower were all in a bid to improve security at airports.
Sadiq noted that as a result of the demonstration of professionalism by AVSEC and cooperation from stakeholders, major incidents have not been recorded in airports and also sued for more cooperation, collaborative efforts and synergy.
He requested for the provision of additional modern equipment especially patrol vehicles fitted with modem gadgets, provision of more manpower at the lower Cadre more night guards and replacement of ageing X-ray machines.
The DSS expressed concern over the nuisance created by deportees and the menace of lunatics within the airport vicinity and called for the creation of more departments under the directorate to be headed by General Managers in order to cope with the volume of assignments for better performance and efficiency.
He also requested that the standard, compliance, intelligence and investigation and as well as liaison research and development units be upgraded to the status of departments to be headed by a General Manager.