The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has tasked the Federal Government to acquire more modern equipment to strengthen security at the nation’s airports.

This was disclosed by Group Capt. Usman Sadiq, the Director of Aviation Security Service (DASS), (FAAN), in his address of welcome at the national Aviation Security (AVSEC) Day in Abuja, on Thursday.

The event is aimed at promoting security culture at airports across the country, in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s declaration of the year 2021 as the year of security culture (YOSC).

What FAAN is saying about security

Sadiq said, “In order to effectively secure the airports as required by both National and International laws, the provision of additional and modern equipment cannot be overemphasized.

“Also important is the need for additional patrol vehicles fitted with modern communication gadgets, provision of more man-power, especially at the lower cadre between Grade Levels 4-6 and more night guards.

“Purchase of new x-ray equipment to replace the obsolete ones. Also, AVSEC officers need to be kept abreast of global best practices, through adequate training both within and outside Nigeria.

“I, therefore, seek for continued support/assistance of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, and the Managing Director/Chief Executive, all Directors and other security agencies to tackle these ever-evolving threats and challenges.”

He categorically stated that personnel of the aviation security had been at the forefront of securing the airports’ environment, facilities and the fight against the spread of COVID-19 since its emergence in Nigeria, such that no major incident had been recorded in the airports regarding COVID-19.

“This is largely associated with the high demonstration of professionalism exhibited by the AVSEC Department in the conduct of their responsibilities, and co-operation enjoyed from other stakeholders, especially other security agencies. We (therefore) seek for more collaborative efforts/synergy,“ the director added.

Sadiq appealed to the government to expand the current AVSEC organogram to give room for additional departments, headed by General Managers (GMs), in order to cope with the volume of assignments and for better performance and efficiency.

He cited AVSEC as the largest Directorate, with the highest number of senior staff, saddled with enormous responsibilities.

“Presently, there are three Departments headed by GMs, they include Aviation Security Operations, Technical Services, and Administration and Logistics.

“ I, therefore, wish to request that Intelligence and Investigation, Standards and Compliance, as well as Liaison/Research and Development units, be upgraded to the status of Departments and also headed by General Managers.

“More so, due to increased medical challenges experienced by some AVSEC operatives on duty, I appeal that on-airport residential quarters (Mess) be constructed for aviation security officers while on duty,“ he said.