Okechukwu Nnodim and Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi
Aviation security personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will soon be licensed to carry arms at airports across the country.
The Federal Government said on Monday that the move was to complement other agencies in addressing security threats at the airports.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who stated this in Katsina at the 2018 AVSEC retreat, noted that discussions on the initiative were being finalised for approval.
Sirika said the move would further strengthen the integrity of the airports in view of the growing threats to the aviation industry.
He was quoted in a statement issued by the spokesperson of FAAN, Henriatta Yakubu, as saying, “The Federal Government approved AVSEC to bear arms, which is a notable achievement in this administration’s effort at improving the general safety of its citizenry and passengers passing through our airports.”
The minister, who was represented at the retreat by the Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Capt. Mohammed Abdulsalami, said arming AVSEC officials would ensure proper policing of the airports.
He added that the rebranding of AVSEC was important in building its brand identity and creating a recognisable corporate identity for officers, with the aim of making them much more professional and customer-friendly in order to meet up with the Ease of Doing Business initiative.
Sirika stated that most countries had shown keen interest in Nigeria’s growing and expanding aviation industry, adding that the United Nation’s decision to establish two aviation security training colleges in the country was another achievement of the present administration.
The Managing Director, FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, said the agency was investing in the aviation sector in order to create an environment conducive to business and encourage efficiency in tackling emerging security threats to civil aviation.
As part of measures to achieve this, Dunoma stated that FAAN successfully recruited and trained over 230 AVSEC officers, as he called for total commitment, determination and cooperation by all to achieve the agency’s desired objectives.
He urged the AVSEC personnel to put in their best and respond to all emerging threats in a timely manner, while constantly reviewing and upgrading their system holistically.
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