- Touting on the rise at airports
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has arrested over 90 persons, caught at both the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, carrying out nefarious activities.
Spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs.Henrietta Yakubu in a statement said the touts were arrested for various acts of illegality including Fake Covid-19 test results, touting, unauthorised entry, trespass, Illegal facilitation, forgery, loitering, theft, public nuisance & arguments, amongst others.
Some of those arrested are staff of Patovilki Nigeria Limited, Lakewood Services, Nacho Plc, and other airport staff.
Of the total arrested, 59 were handed over to the airport police command in Abuja for prosecution, while 30 were handed over to the police force in Lagos for the same.
She said FAAN had warned those that do not have any legitimate business at the airports, as well as airport staff carrying out illegal duties to desist from such acts.
An investigation by our correspondent revealed that security personnel, especially the Aviation Security (AVSEC), a department under the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), also connive with touts in the airport environment by collecting the sum of N1000 per shift daily from them for the touts to continue their activities without harassment.
The collaboration between security personnel and touts goes as far as the screening points within the airport.
For instance, some of them engage in money laundering for some passengers by ensuring that their luggage stashed with foreign currencies is not checked at the screening points by security agents.
For them to do this, the touts approach the security agents ahead of their clients who bargain with them, depending on the amount of money involved.
was further revealed that some of the touts rent trolleys from the company in charge of trolleys at the airport at N500 each and use such to besiege air travelers inside vehicular traffic even to the car parks within the airport.
The touts charge between N500 and N1000 from such travelers for helping them to carry their luggage to the departure terminal.
A source at the airport told our correspondent that some of the touts have access to restricted areas within the airport even without a valid On-Duty-Card (ODC), which is a requirement for accessing some areas at the airport.
“It is unbelievable that some of the people you see inside the terminal don’t have anything doing at all at the airport. When those accompanying travelers are denied entry into the terminal by security operatives, touts have direct access to the terminal without being challenged. They have so much penetrated the security personnel attached to the airport to the extent that some of us who are airport workers are afraid that these people may cause mayhem for us one day,” the source told our correspondent.