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Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Captain Rabiu Hamisu has explained the reason the Federal Government has decided to arm Aviation Security personnel (AVSEC) of the agency. He however stated that until the agency put in place the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the arms, among others, it would not deploy the weapons to its Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel.
Yadudu said whilst FAAN has received approval from the Federal Government, the programme had reached an advanced stage even as a lot of works needed to be done in recruitment and profiling of such operatives.
The FAAN MD, who spoke at the sideline of the ongoing Nigerian Airports Security Week with the theme: ‘Promoting Security Culture at Nigeria Airports’ said ‘’approval is the most important aspect of arming the security wing but FAAN is a government enterprise, we must follow due process and ensure a lot of accountability and transparency, as of now, we are at a very advanced stage but as part our due diligence.’’
He explained that ‘’Once we get the approval, we have to do a lot of works to make sure that by the time we give the arms, even when you get the arms, we prefer not to deploy until we have all the necessary infrastructure on the ground to accommodate the arms, the training before you do the training, you have to get the people and even when you do get them, we have to do proper profiling, there are a lot of things done.’’
Meanwhile, a former Special Adviser to the President on Aviation, Captain Shehu Usman Iya has advised that government must consider as critical the welfare of security operatives at the airports in order to eliminate internal threat and sabotage and encourage patriotism and dedication.
Captain Iya said ‘’We have good men, we have the personnel present, all they need is proper welfare, when I say welfare, you as a security agent knows that if you close from work, you know have a home you are going to and when coming to work, you know there is a mode of transport available to take you to your workplace or some allowance for that, you have launch allowance that will make you work, and if you are sick, there is a clinic dedicated for you and your family to attend.’’
‘’These are major areas that spur patriotism and dedication to duties. We have enough good hands, well trained and intelligent and they have the equipment. If you look into their welfare like I said, you will be shocked with the tremendous improvement that will be recorded.’’
Speaking on potential threats to the airports following recent bandit attacks on transports infrastructures; the FAAN MD said ‘’I want to assure Nigerians and the travelling public that the airports are safe. We are doing a lot of things in terms of security around the airports that we cannot make public at all time, but the most important aspects; we are fully on top of them.’’
He added ‘’we have done a lot of training and it is continuous, our security programme is approved by the CAA, which is not an arbitrary approval, it is a regulated approval from the CAA which is competent and appropriate.’’
On the issue of being up to date on its security architecture, Yadudu explained that ‘’security is a living process, we might have an airport that is fully protected with the architecture of the security appropriate, then suddenly, it doesn’t have to be something in our airport, something might happen in another airport or in town or a new technology even might render your up to date security arrangement vulnerable.’’
‘’So that is why I said it is a living process and that is why we keep working to ensure that our architecture for security, the training, awareness, we do this daily as the airports’ security committees have their meetings weekly, we do an overview, deliberate and also communicate with the airport communities to always ensure we carry along with all our stakeholders.’’
Responding to a request by the Director of Airports Security Service for the approval of additional General Managers for the department, Capt. Yadudu said ‘’Whatever they want, they will get it because we are very fond of our aviation security in FAAN, they are doing us and Nigerians proud, so they will get whatever they want and we can even give them a bonus, it is not a problem.’’Google+