The Aviation Security department of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is planning to overhaul security architecture at many of the aerodromes including the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
Director, Security Services, FAAN, Usman Salim Abubakar Sadiq while speaking on the side-lines of Aviation Security (AVSEC) summit, with theme, “Aviation Security: MMA perspective held at the Lagos airport said as first step, they have been alerted with the challenges quite a long time and that was why we have made a move by changing the On-Duty-Cards (ODCs) to the ones that have latest security features and not easy to penetrate.
He noted that prior to that, they were having over 15, 000, with some who had no business even in obtaining the ODC.
“Like the name implies, on-duty, it is supposed to be for those who are on duty, but you find out that some get the on duty cards even to where they are not supposed to be. We are aware of the ex-workers with the ODCs, but gradually, we are retrieving them and with present ODC card and machine, you must appear in person to be profiled. We are also doing this with the collaboration of the police and we try as much as possible to limit those who are issued the cards”, he added.
He disclosed that his first directive when he resumed office was that directors in FAAN should not be given ODCs, stressing that airport is not a place where you should not be guarded through.
He noted even the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States and others that come for inspections are guarded into sensitive areas of airports, adding that they have reduced that drastically.
“If you don’t have a need for it, you don’t get it. I think gradually we shall get there”, he stated.
He stated that training is another area the agency is focusing on. Sadiq hinted that the intention is for everybody to be trained.
His words, “At the moment, we are about 1,800 personnel. By the middle of this year; we hope to grow to 2,500 personnel because we requested for more people to be trained. Those ones too must be trained. We have that too on the line. We also requested for master trainers”.
He reiterated that training is very key especially to the third world countries, adding that since he became the director of AVSEC that has been his priority, having upped their game on training.
It is a pity that we have some who have even stayed up to 34 years and they are supposed to retire this year that have not done SPD 1,2, 3, until in December, 2018 when they were able to do that.
“About 53 from the South West zone were trained. We then moved to the South-South and South East. We have completed that of North West, we are now in North Centre. By this year, everyone must have that basic and we are even moving to refresher and supervisory. We have even gone beyond our own aviation training to have our personnel trained in other fields”
“We have close to 20 staff that are also in NIMPS for a two weeks strategic courses. The feedback is good and we are trying to request for more. We are also doing DSS training for some of our staff. We have requested for three slots, but the authority there is looking at it if they will give us additional slot. They too have challenges of accommodation, too. We are expanding trying to see that people are trained”.
He explained that security is dynamic one thing about security is that challenges are dynamic. We keep on building and re-strategising things in order to tackle some of those problems.
Some, we have to be proactive. We attend conferences and seminars via stakeholders in aviation world and we are always alerted on new challenges, their missions and we are always advised on how to mitigate such challenges. We as an organisation, we try as much as possible to meet up with the standards.