FOLLOWING what the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) describes as a national embarrassment, the way air travelers are extorted at the airports; especially Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Lagos, a staff of Arik airline had been apprehended while soliciting bribe from a traveling passenger at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos.
The On Duty Card (ODC) of the erring staff has been withdrawn immediately, and she has been handed over to relevant security agency for appropriate action in order to serve as deterrent to others who obtain from passengers by force or via threats.
This action followed an emergency FAAN management meeting on the incessant extortion of passengers by airport officials at the nation’s airports which had in attendance the MD/CE, Captain Rabiu Hamisu, Directors of the Authority, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Airport Managers and Airport Chiefs of Security.
The meeting also resolved that henceforth, any erring airport official caught soliciting for bribes at the nation’s airports will be permanently denied access to working at the airports. Officials were also directed to always wear conspicuous name tags anytime they are on duty.
The MD/CE, Captain Yadudu further directed the Airport Managers to ensure that all stakeholders at the airports are properly sensitized on the new development as there will be no sacred cows.
FAAN decided the wield the big stick as multiple trending videos keep emerging on how passengers are being extorted in and around the airport, the latest being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
NigerianFLIGHTDECK learnt that the managing director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu read the riot acts threatening officers found culpable with sack as they daily mutilate the nation’s image without recourse to the effect of their actions.
FAAN had on numerous occasions put out caveat advising passengers to escalate any form of extortion at the airports, stressing that in the event of threats or delays to flights said passengers should kindly insist on seeing the airport managers or duty supervisors, that still did not lessen the resolve of these recalcitrant airport workers.
Recent embarrassing online videos where passengers complained of acts of extortion at the nation’s airport had necessitated the need to device multi level strategies to curb the menace.