Extortion: Arik suspend staff with immediate effect

The management of Arik Air (in Receivership) has suspended with immediate effect one of its staff caught by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for soliciting bribes at the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed International, Ikeja, Lagos, pending further investigations.

The airline in a statement said while the management conducts its own internal investigation, “we wish to reassure FAAN of our cooperation on this matter if further investigation is required. We fully support what FAAN is doing to rid our airports of this menace of corruption”.

FAAN had on Tuesday apprehended an Arik worker for soliciting a bribe from a traveller at the domestic wing of the Lagos airport by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

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 Extortion by airline staff and security operatives has become one of the major concerns of the authority as it has promised to arrest any security official and airline officials soliciting bribes, an action that destroys the image of the country.

This is coming as FAAN Management held a meeting on the incessant extortion of passengers by airport officials at the nation’s airports and steps being taken to address the situation.

Arik Air’s aircraft

The meeting had in attendance the MD/CE, Directors of the Authority, Capt Hamisu Yadudu,  Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Airport Managers, and Airport Chiefs of Security.

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 The On Duty Card of the erring staff had been withdrawn immediately, and she has been handed over to the relevant security agency for appropriate action in order to serve as a deterrent to other bad eggs in the airport.

 Recent embarrassing online videos where passengers complained of acts of extortion at the nation’s airport had necessitated the need to devise multi-level strategies to curb the menace.

 The meeting also resolved that henceforth, any erring airport official caught soliciting for bribes at the nation’s airports will be permanently denied access to working at the airports. Officials were also directed to always wear conspicuous name tags anytime they are on duty.

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 The MD/CE, Captain Yadudu further directed the Airport Managers to ensure that all stakeholders at the airports are properly sensitized to the new development as there will be no sacred cows.

Wole Shadare