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Airport security, certification get N4.6bn in 2020 budget

Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation

The Federal Government has set aside N4.6bn in the 2020 budget for safety and security of critical projects and airport certification nationwide, Daily Trust analysis of the budget has shown.

Daily Trust learnt that this is part of move to fortify the 22 airports managed by the Federal Government against “emerging challenges in aviation security globally.”

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The detail of the expenditure in next year’s fiscal year was contained in the 2020 budget proposal presented recently by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Under the safety and security of critical projects, according to our findings, is the installation of close circuit television (CCTV) to cover the airsides of various airports to the perimeter fencing.

Daily Trust reports that major airports like the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, among others would benefit from this.

It would be recalled that the MMIA for instance had recorded some security breaches which were blamed on the porous nature of the airport fence.

On July 19, an intruder later identified as a Nigerien caused a stir when he climbed on an Azman Air aircraft that was about to take off from the airport.

The intruder was believed to have gained access to “the restricted area” from the fencing.

The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Hamisu Yadudu disclosed at the time that the Federal Government would provide perimeter fences at the airports, including detection devices and CCTV cameras with infrared capacity for night operations.

In the area of airport certification, the Federal Government certified Lagos and Abuja airports after decades of operations but it plans to complete the certificate of the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State while other second grade airports would follow.

Also in the Ministry of Aviation budget, the government plans to spend N347.5m on consultancy for the concession of four airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt and another N100m on implementation of approved aviation roadmap.

Similarly, the sum of N1bn was set aside for the purchase of fire trucks while the government proposes to establish fire and truck maintenance and refurbishment centre at Katsina with N500m.

Commenting on the proposed budget for security, Aviation security analyst, Group Capt. John Ojikutu, rtd, said there should be provision for perimeter and security fences for all airports and their enhancements to meet the global standards or the best practices.

He added that there must be biometric access control for all access into the airports security control areas; improved screening machines for passengers and baggage at all airports.

Ojikutu also called for recruitment of more personnel to make up for the deficiencies in all the airports and recurrence training including intelligence training for the Aviation security (AVSEC) staff.

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