There is apprehension in the aviation sector following the withdrawal of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) fire and security personnel from the Osubi airstrip in Warri, Delta state.
Investigation revealed that fire cover and security services hitherto provided by the FAAN were withdrawn and now managed the new management of the airstrip, Shoreline oil services by providing its own security and fire cover for the airstrip.
This, aviation stakeholders expressed fears that the action negated the aviation rules and regulations which gave power to FAAN to provide both security and fire cover for airports in the country.
Investigation further revealed that the management of Shoreline who took over the airstrip from Shell has now provided their own fire and security personnel, an action described by some concerned stakeholders as not in the interest of country and a disturbing signal.
An anonymous stakeholder told our reporter that they ought to have sent the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) out of the airstrip to stop providing aeronautical services n their own.
Reacting to the development, the Secretary-general of ANAP Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu lamented that withdrawing fire and security services was an easy way for external forces to attack the country as the people providing security and fire were inexperienced.
When warning of the great dangers ahead as a result of the development, Comrade Saidu queried the reasons behind the withdraw of FAAN services against the Act setting up the agency that gave them the power to provide fire cover and security to all the airports across the country.
He said the action was tantamount to corruption and called on the government to order FAAN back to the Osubi airstrip adding that the country was not ripe to engage private security and fire services at airports and airstrips in the country.
But responding to the development, the director Aerodrome and airspace Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Mohammed Odunowo said it was not true that NCAA gave the FAAN the directive to withdraw its services from the Osubi airstrip.
Odunowo explained that NCAA was aware of some open items at the airstrip which they have written to the management to address and which they were working on to close them.
He said regular audit of all the airports across the country was on going saying that the as the regulator they were in contact with all of them
“This is definitely not true am not aware of such a directive, not at all since 2016 that we have been here and this no such thing, we are in contact with the the management team of Osubi, am not aware.”