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Ojikutu lambast NCAA, blames agency for security lapses, stowaways

MANAGING director of Centurion Security, Group Capt. John Ojikutu has lampooned the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for security lapses at the airports accusing the regulatory authority of gross inefficiency in organization of security plans for airports and airlines

Yesterday the corpse of an unidentified  stowaway was discovered in the wheel well of Arik Air aircraft at the Oliver Tambo International Airport in South Africa and this has caused eyebrows to be raised over the state of security at the airports.

Speaking at the Q4 2016 Breakfast Meeting of Aviation Round Table (ART) tagged ‘Aviation Security in the Midst of Home Grown Terrorism’ Ojikutu said the NCAA had not lived up to expectation as the regulator of the aviation industry adding that there were so many security lapses at the airports.

“what we are always talking about is CAT 1 and we are happy. There is nothing in CAT 1; it is a mere paper.”

He said NCAA should re-organize its security plans for the airports and airlines.

“I hold NCAA responsible for security breaches. NCAA should review the security programmes of Arik Air and the airports. When it happened in Benin, I asked how it could have taken place without an insider. Most of the airports in Nigeria have perimeter fences that are not security-enhanced. The perimeter fence at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport is used as part of private residence.

“There are security threats at all the airports. There is no central security control at the airports. Should anything happen, you cannot hold anybody responsible; everybody will be passing the buck. FAAN cannot be in charge of security because it was not established for that purpose.

“If you cannot protect the airlines, you have failed in your responsibility. If NCAA is hamstrung, then there is something wrong with us,” he said.

In his contribution, the managing director of Selective Security Limited, Mr. Ayo Obilana said aviation is the prime target of home-grown terrorism adding that “even security operative at the airports are terrorists.”

“An average air traveller out of our international airports goes through 15 checks. There is a dash table, that is, extortion table. They (checks) are a disgrace. The checks can be reduced to three efficient checkpoints. If there is no security, tourism will not thrive,” he said.

He added: “We need to focus on the Lagos Airport; some of the equipment are obsolete, they have to be updated. We have to look at the issue of insider threats and intensify intelligence gathering.”

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