Determined to tighten security across the country’s airports, the federal government has granted approval to the Aviation Security (AVSEC) unit of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)to carry arms.
Dropping this hint in Lagos was the minister of State for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who added that the AVSEC officials will now be well-trained on the use of arms, whistles and other weapons like the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials.
Sirika speaking during his appraisal and presentation of the Aviation Roadmap to the industry stakeholders confirmed that very soon the face of AVSEC will change as the federal government has granted approval for them to carry guns.
According to him, the ministry was already working with the ministry of Interior to ensure that AVSEC officials are well-trained to bear arms and also to determine what kind of arms they will need for their duties.
He used the occasion to insist that the ongoing restructuring exercise in line with the call for proper placement at FAAN will not only continue in phases but spread to other sister agencies; the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and others.
The minister lamented that the agencies have over 88 general managers, which he said was not sustainable at all.
He described the meeting with the stakeholders as necessary to appraise the progress so far made in implementing the aviation roadmap and also to address some of the issues raised by the unions and other stakeholders concerning the planned airports concession.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the industry ranging from problem of Foreign Exchange, the rising cost and scarcity of Aviation Fuel, Jet A1, waiver on aircraft spare parts, enforcement on expatriates quota, among others, the minister observed that the enforcement of expatriates quota policy in the aviation industry becomes necessary to stop the foreigners from taking Nigerian jobs in the industry.