The Federal Airports of Nigeria (FAAN) says it is working on plans to secure approval for Aviation Security (AVSEC) officials to bear arms. FAAN Managing Director, Saleh Dunoma, made this known while briefing reporters in Lagos on Wednesday.
Mr Dunoma explained that before the end of the year, AVSEC personnel would have been permitted to bear arms to enhance surveillance in the sector. He, however, said that before this could be achieved, the department requires some training and approvals especially from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). The managing director added that background checks would also be carried out on some of the personnel before the approval.
”There are certain projects that we need to implement before we can start carrying arms, one -we have to get the arms. “Two- we have to store the ammunition somewhere, we need to embark on projects that will enable us to have storage somewhere at the airport, three- we need to profile and train.
“It is not everybody that will bear arms, this, we must apply, we cannot train ourselves, we have to be trained by those that have been long in the system; the State Security Service and the Nigeria Police Force. “Also, we want to make sure that we get certification from the office of the NSA. We have to go through these processes.”
He said as soon as the authority is through with all these, the AVSEC officials would be allowed to bear arms. On the certification of international airports by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr Dunoma assured that other airports would be certified very soon by the regulatory agency.
According to him, the exercise is at different stages of completion. He disclosed that Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kaduna airports are going through the certification processes. On the second runway project for Abuja Airport, Dunoma disclosed that the project is part of the 2019 budget and expressed optimism that it would scale through the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) approval. “That has gone far; this is a big document here, the document contains the design and everything about the second runway.
“It is in our 2019 budget. As soon as we get our clearance from the BPP, we will commence work on it. We have gone far on this,” he said. (NAN)