The chief executive officer of Eden & Mcwhit Aviation Security, Dr. Naima Fraser, has advised the federal government against lumping aviation security together with airport concession.
Fraser who gave the advice in Lagos recently said while airport concession has its benefits, aviation security should be exclusive preserve of the federal government.
“When our airports are concessioned, the aviation security aspect is not included and is worked out on a Build, Manage &Train (BMT) basis because aviation security is the responsibility of the government with a technical partner/investor.
She advised the federal government to upgrade Nigerian airports’ security in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and international Air Transport Association (IATA’s) regulations for Aviation Security (AVSEC).
This, according to her, is necessary in view of increasing global terrorism and to achieve a global airport security status.
Fraser who commended the federal government for its prompt response to the aviation security situation at airports across the country maintained that while it is encouraging that Nigeria initiated policies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to boost the economy, it is also important that “we make our airports safer and secure in line with global requirements.”
“The federal government and the ministry of aviation should be innovative in evolving financial solutions to achieve a first-class aviation security status for all international airports in the country without expending scarce resources during this recession. Nigeria should learn to use what we have to get what we need.”
She said West African countries such as Sierra Leone and other countries in Africa, Europe, Asia are currently benefitting from the business model which has been introduced to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by Eden & Mcwhit and supported by its principal in the United Kingdom.
She urged Nigeria not hesitate to reach an agreement with her firm so that investors could assist the federal government and the relevant authorities to upgrade the international airports with the latest digital aviation security equipment, products and solutions as well as train the Nigerian aviation security personnel and bring in professional aviation security guards to support the AVSEC personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)
Fraser also said her firm would assist with trained K9 aviation security dogs from the UK and all the standard modern digital aviation security products including thermal cameras that detect passengers with a high fever from a distance, day and night vision CCTV cameras, latest baggage and passenger scanners, perimeter security radar and a command and control centre to network all products and solutions.
“All these would be put in place without any payment from the federal government, ministry of aviation or FAAN. Other countries have benefited, so why not Nigeria? The federal government agencies need to fast track proposals in respect of aviation security projects due to the long winded bureaucratic process so as to encourage foreign direct investment into the country,” she said.