The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has scaled down commercial activities at the hajj and cargo terminal of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport from 24 to 12 hours daily.
The terminal manager, Mr. Asizehi Musa, said in an interview that activities would be from 7am to 7pm.
He said FAAN said the exit and entrance gates at the terminal will be opened for commercial activities as from 7am while the gates will be shut at 7pm.
FAAN however said that the new regime would not affect the operational activities, but commercial activities within the terminal.
He also announced the setting up of a task force to screen operations within the terminal.
He said the initiative was taken to curb illegal activities and eliminate touting at the hajj and cargo terminals.
“The essence of the taskforce is not to threaten any agency or operator, but to ensure sanity at the terminal, reduce touts and touting activities and make the nation’s airports in compliant with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards,” said Musa.
He explained that with the new approach, no truck would be allowed to spend the night at the terminal, stressing that the management had over the years frowned at such practices.
To make the new initiative a success, Musa said FAAN would provide a patrol vehicle to monitor activities at the terminal and ensure that only those who have business to transact are allowed in.
Musa assured that FAAN would cooperate with all the stakeholders, especially the cargo agents, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), ground handling companies, the police and others within the terminal.
“For many years, the issue of access control has been on the front burner and it seems the FAAN is incapacitated, which is not true. But, we can’t allow things to continue like this. Access control is very important and necessary to the safety of all users. The era of 24-hour operation is over.
“As from this moment, activities are now reduced to 12 hours and I seek the cooperation of all. However, there will be sensitisation exercise before the taskforce commences work in full,” he said.
Also speaking, the chief security officer of the terminal, Mr. Benjamin Adewunmi, said it was necessary for FAAN to take full control of the territory.
He said should the taskforce carry out its activities dutifully, security and safety of lives, equipment and cargo would further be enhanced.
He called for the cooperation of all the stakeholders, especially the customs agents.