FG gives approval for aviation security personnel to bear arms

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*Sirika

As threat to aviation security increases, the federal government has said that plans are afoot to license aviation security (AVSEC) personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN to bear arms.

The minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who disclosed at the 2018 AVSEC Retreat held in Katsina State said arms-bearing AVSEC personnel would complement other agencies in the event of security threat.

He said discussion was at its final stage for approval saying it will further strengthen the integrity of the airports in view of the growing threats to the aviation industry.

“The federal government approved for AVSEC to bear arms which is a notable achievement in this administration’s effort at improving the general safety of its citizenry and passengers passing through our airports,” he said.

The minister who was represented by the rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria Capt. Mohammed Abdulsalami also said arming AVSEC will ensure proper policing of the sector by AVSEC personnel saying it was part of efforts by the President Buhari administration to give the country dividends of democracy.

He said rebranding AVSEC staff was important in building brand identity and creating a recognisable corporate identity for officers with the aim of making them much more professional and customer friendly to meet up with the initiative of the Ease of Doing Business.

Sirika said most countries have shown keen interest in the country’s growing and expanding aviation industry stressing that aviation security is a pivotal tool to sustaining safety in all the airports.

Sirika also noted that the United Nations decision to establish two aviation security training colleges in the country was another notable achievement of the present administration.

“This is aimed at assisting not only in the  war against terrorism but to provide a special class of professionally trained AVSEC unit through the training of 30 selected aviation security master trainers who will in turn train others,” he added.

Sirika further stated that the certification of FAAN training centre by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will further strengthen and boost the capacity and technical knowhow of aviation security personnel in the country.

In his good will message, the managing director of FAAN Mr. Saleh Dunoma said the agency had invested in aviation to create enabling environment that will encourage efficiency in tackling emerging security threats to civil aviation.

He disclosed that FAAN recently procured 10 additional patrol vehicles to boost the current fleet of vehicles for effective coverage and patrol while additional screening machines were being procured and old ones replaced.

Dunoma also said FAAN had successfully recruited and trained over 230 AVSEC officers adding that the agency was poised to equip the AVSEC directorate to enable it discharge its responsibility effectively and efficiently.

He therefore called for total commitment, determination and cooperation by all to achieve the desired objectives not only for FAAN but also for the aviation industry and Nigeria as a whole.

Dunoma also urged the AVSEC staff to put in their best and respond to all emerging threats in timely manner.

He expressed optimism that the retreat will renew determination, commitment and zeal to achieve the onerous task of enhancing the security of the travelling public while protecting the facilities that government has invested huge funds to provide for comfort.

 

 

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