ART backs Reps, says multiple security checks erode Ease of Doing Business policy

Aviation sector pressure group, the Aviation Round Table (ART)  has backed the decision of the House of Representatives to compel a single security screening point for arriving and departing passengers at the country’s major airports.

The several security checks at the airports by so many security agencies have seriously hindered the seamless facilitation of travelers and done incalculable damage to the Ease of Doing Business in the country.

President of ART, Dr. Gabriel Olowo told journalists in Lagos that despite the Ease-of-Doing-Business scheme of the Federal Government, myriads of security points at the airports had made nonsense of the policy, stressing that implementation of laws had always been the major challenge confronting the nation.

Olowo explained that if the current House of Representatives led by Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives could ensure the implementation of the policy, the image of Nigeria would greatly improve while Ease-of-Doing-Business would be achievable.

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Olowo who is also the President of Sabre Travel Solutions, Central and Western Africa, further stated that it was necessary for the Federal Government to sanitise the Nigerian airports, stressing that if the Transport Security Administration (TSA) of the United States could centralse security information, Nigeria should not be an exemption.

He said: “The Gbajabiamila House of Representatives is thinking of giving Nigeria something close to TSA. That is sharing security information and just having one security checkpoint at the airports. That is sharing news for me and the entire body of ART is throwing its weight totally behind this.

President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Dr. Gbenga Olowo

“Most of the time, when policy statements come out, implementation always becomes a big task. We have spoken at various times on this matter. Our Secretary-General, Grp. Capt. John Ojikutu has released a lot of documents on how this can be done several years back.

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“The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo came, issued a statement on this matter, the many checkpoints disappeared at a time. I don’t know whether it was a gazette or not. Action has always been our problem. We have discussed many issues and matters, but implementation has always been our problem. If that will be our Christmas gift for 2021 for the sector, get it done and sanitise our airports.”

“All these many checkpoints at our airports, and the ‘what do you have for the boys?’ Give us a bad image non-stop. All these unnecessary compliments at airports, rather than concentrate on the job; check the documents and let the fellow move are unwarranted.”

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He insisted that the effort to sanitise the Nigerian airports was a task that must be accomplished by the government.

 

Stranded passengers at Lagos airport

According to him, in the U.S. for instance, all the information about a passenger – political criminal, corruption, drug, and others are in one centre and accessible by all the security agents, insisting that those could also be replicated here through technology.

“Three stages only. Once the check-in is done, you have your boarding pass, you go to the security door and once that is done, you are in the screening area. You go to the shopping lounge.

Wole Shadare