FAAN, ONSA collaborate to reduce military, paramilitary personnel in Nigerian airports

By Innocent Raphael

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) have reached a consensus to decrease number of military and paramilitary personnel conducting inspections on passengers’ belongings at the country’s international airports.

Managing Director of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku, revealed this development over the weekend, expressing concern over the prevalence of multiple security checks by various agencies at airport terminals.

“It goes beyond FAAN because a lot of those agencies including Nigeria Customs, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, we have almost everybody at the airports.

“We had Executive order 001 during the Buhari administration to move them out under the then Vice President office. Now, we have the National Single Window. I have personally sat with the NSA over the last five weeks to have conversations with him as to how we will streamline the facilitation.

“We have agreed on a few things. The first one is a short term intervention where we reduce the number of agencies at the airports because we have some that were doing just sort of routine checks, just moving around to observe rather than disturbing passengers,” she said.

She emphasized that both FAAN and the ONSA have devised short and long-term strategies to address this issue effectively.

Among the measures discussed is the utilization of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance in coordination rooms situated across the nation’s international airports to monitor passengers’ luggage.

Kuku highlighted the importance of collaboration among relevant agencies to streamline security operations while minimizing inconvenience to travelers.

Regarding the practice of opening passengers’ baggage for inspection, Kuku acknowledged the challenges posed by secondary screening requirements, especially for flights to certain destinations.

The FAAN boss assured passengers that efforts are underway to implement advanced security measures, including the deployment of dual-view cameras and explosives detection technology, to conduct secondary checks without resorting to manual bag inspections.

The collaboration between FAAN and the ONSA signifies a concerted effort to enhance security protocols at Nigerian airports while ensuring a seamless travel experience for passengers.

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