A tiered security system, which is a technology-driven security blanket, should be provided to all airports in Nigeria to ensure both passenger and airport infrastructure security.
This was the stance of key players who attended the Q2 2022 business breakfast held in Lagos.
Participants took the opportunity to call for an urgent need for additional funding for security at airports across the country to enable the acquisition and deployment of state-of-the-art security equipment.
While agreeing that there is a need to reduce the number of physical security checkpoints at airports across the country to improve passenger facilitation and avoid discouraging air travel with unnecessary delays at the airport, stakeholders unanimously called for collaboration and direct engagement between aviation professionals on aviation matters with the relevant aviation agencies in order to avoid a loss of confidence in the sector
The gathering also underlined the need for security at airports and in society as a whole to be seen and understood as the concern of all and not of a privileged few. Therefore, every citizen should support security agencies operating at airports
“There is a need for various airport security agencies to prioritize the national interest, work synergistically and collaboratively, rather than working in silos to the detriment of intended aviation security objectives.”
According to the participants, since each security agency was established by an Act of the National Assembly, there was therefore a need for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to be empowered as the supreme coordinator of all other agencies operating in any of our civil airports for the coordination, control of operations and management of security agencies.
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The unruly behavior of some passengers towards security personnel at airports also drew attention, with participants calling on travelers to change their attitude.
Agreeing that the first layer of multi-layered security systems at the airport was training, key players said there was a need to ensure adequate security training and retraining for airport staff and to maintain these trained personnel in their positions after undergoing training for a minimum of one year, so as not to render the training and efforts useless for the system.
The gathering challenged FAAN to lead the process of digitizing security-related data in conjunction with security agencies in others to facilitate activities in providing adequate multi-layered security for airports nationwide, while on the operational process for seamless airport passage, participants called for ‘balancing’ between facilitation and security procedures. One should not supplant the other.
Among those present at the meeting were: Former Chief Executive, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, Managing Director/CEO, Pathfinders Limited, Ms. Nkechi Onyenso, CEO, Centurion Aviation Security & Safety Consultant, Group Captain John Ojikutu, Retired, CEO of Selective Security International, Mr. Ayo Obilana and the Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.