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Airports record over 1000 breaches this year

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By Timothy Akintola

Stakeholders lament on recurring cases of security infiltration in airports.

Despite the huge investment dedicated into improving the security infrastructure across the aviation sector in Nigeria, there have been recurring cases of infiltration in these airports, with over a thousand cases already reported this year. Recall, experts in the aviation industry recently criticized the insecurity in the aviation sector, suggesting for a multi-layered security mechanism to protect the airports from infiltration. Reports indicate that the Aviation Security (AVSEC) arrests at least four people for trying to beat the security system on a daily basis.

This is after the recent training and certification of over 121 Aviation Security (AVESEC) personnel which took place at the newly accredited local training facility established by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN). Rabiu Yadudu, FAAN’s Managing Director meanwhile claimed that manual military patrols around airport facilities have been set up to further improve the security situation with the automation in Lagos and Abuja airports. He also noted that motorized equipment had also been invested in, to help curb the security challenges by monitoring and protecting these airports.

Nationwide clamors for the security services to be further strengthened.

In spite of these investments, the security infiltrations continue to prevent the country’s progress in the aviation sector and portraying the country in a bad light to stakeholders who have reported that the suspected airport workers connive with these infiltrators, allowing them through to different terminals. With FAAN operating 26 of Nigeria’s 32 airports, five of which are functioning international airports, there are nationwide pleas for the security services to be further strengthened.

Reports also gathered that even after the continued improvement of security services in the airports, some individuals are still able to bribe their way with security operatives through the terminals at the arrival and departure entrances. The security personnel at Murtala Mohammed Airport for instance, are rumored to receive bribes of about N1000 to grant travelers’ relatives access to the terminals. It is suspected that some of the security operatives in charge of car coordination also indulge in this heinous act, taking money from individuals and advising the operatives at the terminal gates to grant them access.

FAAN describes the airport’s security challenge as a race.

This is likewise the case with moving contraband through the airports. Individuals bribe their way through the security system, moving ban items and all these acts have dented the country’s reputation on the global scene. Yadudu however lamented at the increasing rate of daily attempts at beating the security systems at airports. But reports indicate that mostly the individuals caught are the ones who are oblivious about the act of settling the security operatives and this means that numerous infiltration cases are still being perpetrated in the airports.

Yadudu also noted that while FAAN regularly introduces new measures to salvage this challenge of incursion within airports, new improvisation techniques and technologies are also enacted to beat security and once noticed, the agency works towards mending these loopholes to make sure these cases are not repeated. Describing this security challenge as a race, he stated that despite the daily success at apprehending these infiltrators, it is the little successful ones that hinder the agency’s efforts. He however promised that this would not deter the agency from consistently upgrading its security measures.

FAAN to procure visual and thermal infrared cameras to these airports.

Over time, the authority identified numerous security gaps and have procured solutions to these gaps but because FAAN unlike a private airport that can make quick decisions to curb the challenges it faces, is a governmental agency and some of its solutions take time for implementation due to the necessity of government and due processes. He then disclosed that FAAN was working to procure visual and thermal infrared cameras to cover every area of the airport.

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