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FAAN, NSA To Cut Security Checks At Airports

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said it has concluded plans with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to reduce the number of security checkpoints where personnel physically come in contact with both passengers and their baggage at the nation’s airports.

Travelers have continued to complain of delays in their movement while traveling through Nigerian airports over multiple physical security checks.

Speaking with newsmen the on Saturday in Lagos, the Managing Director of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku, stated that the agency and the office of the NSA have agreed to carry out short and long-term measures to address the issue including the creation of a joint coordination room where all the agencies can view CCTV cameras to ascertain what they are looking for.

Kuku described the development as disturbing but affirmed that the issue was the first thing she inquired about upon assumption of office, adding that she sat down with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, to discuss how to streamline the facilitation processes.

The FAAN MD said, “On the issues of the checking of baggage, it borders me so much, and that was the first inquiry that I made when I assumed office. As far back as 2011 and 2012, when I was in the industry, I have worked on this with the former minister.

“It goes beyond FAAN, a lot of those agencies, Customs, NDLEA, Quarantine, Agriculture, we now have 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.”

Hinting at her resolutions with the security agencies, Kuku noted, “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.

“The second is the longer term, a joint coordination room, we do have cameras, so we are asking all of those agencies, depending on what it is they are looking for to move to the joint coordination room to look at the cameras and observe and for those that are more concerned with the baggage, they can move down to where we load the bags, that way they have better visibility than disturbing passengers.”

However, she explained that the opening of passengers’ baggage was for a reason adding that “I believe that came about a couple of years ago, a lot of countries had issues with scanning devices that were coming from certain countries, and as such they require secondary screening. You will see that some of the airlines have companies doing secondary screening on their behalf, but a lot of passengers will think that it is FAAN because we are the face of the agency and the airports.”

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