MMIA interior

 

LAST week, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in collaboration with the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) organized a training program for leaders and front line officers of major stakeholders at the airports in a bid to help sanitize the nation’s gateway.

 

A training program that was held both at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed international Airport (MMIA), Lagos saw various top management of agencies and their frontline interface with the public get training on how not to act and constitute a disgrace to the nation at large as their positions reflect what any one: tourists, investors hope to see in the country.

 

The training program was attended in Lagos by the Regional General Manager, MMA, Mrs Victoria Shin-Aba, the Comptroller of Immigration MMA, the Controller of Customs, MMA, the Commissioner of Police, Airport division, the Deputy Director of State Security Services, MMA, NDLEA,Quarantine amongst other top officials at the airport in Lagos.

 

In her remarks, the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr (Mrs.) Jumoke Oduwole noted that inefficiency and corruption are the banes of socio-economic development in the nation.

Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr (Mrs.) Jumoke Oduwole

She charged participants to shun indiscipline, corruption and extortion, as such acts are capable of tarnishing the image of the nation.

 

Dr Oduwole encouraged participants to embrace ethical behaviors, personal values and pride.

 

She advised the top management at the airports to sit up or risk a clean sweep as the Presidency has been embarrassed enough because of the reports coming from the airports especially the MMIA after playing some very uncomplimentary videos of things that were recorded to have happened to both Nigerians and foreigners alike.

 

Various MDAs at the airport had, initially started projecting their mandate stressing that their security workings had peculiarities that needed them to be at the forefront.

 

Dr. Oduwpole expressed surprise at some of the attitudes and gave examples with a situation where the DSS, a supposedly covert operations were sitting at the counter with the Nigerian Immigration Service under the guise of vetting passengers as they come in despite the deployment of the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS)

 

The MIDAS system allows the NIS collect, process, store and analyze traveler information and share data in real-time across an entire national border network and according to the SA, feeds can be made available to all security agencies so they can view things real time and flag anyone they want to,instead of exposing themselves to the populace double checking passports with immigration.

 

 

Managing Director/Chief Executive of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu  enjoined participants to always display the highest level of discipline and professionalism in the line of duty added that airport officials are ambassadors of the nation, and should see and conduct themselves in like manner.

Managing Director FAAN,Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu

Furthermore, Captain Yadudu reminded participants that as heads of their various agencies, they are expected to take the message back to their personnel in the interest of the nation as he stressed that the Federal Government is taking seriously issues of extortion and corruption at the nation’s airports, and any official caught perpetuating any untoward act will henceforth be apprehended and sanctioned accordingly.

 

On the lack of synergy at the gateway, the FAAN boss said that each security apparatus at the airport is only concerned with his or her  mandate which has negatively impacted the national interest.

 

He stressed that FAAN’s duty is 100% to facilitate the jobs of others in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and anything short is working against the national interest.

 

He said,”We can have all the agencies here doing it well but because of something small everybody will be affected because ICAO marks that on your record permanently. If you are working there it impacts you, even if you are not working there, you are Nigerian, it impacts you. These airports are not built by FAAN, it is Federal government over the years building and handed over to FAAN. Just as government set up customs, immigration,NDLEA and provided them responsibilities, so this airport belongs to all of us, don’t see it as FAAN’s property. FAAN is in charge as custodian to enforce standards and recommended practices on behalf of all of us.”

 

“If we get this right a lot of the misunderstandings and discrepancies will go away. A lot of agencies say they have their mandate, correct but no agency will agree that his mandate is inferior or superior to another’s.

 

“Agency mandates are derived from the national interest and no agencies mandate is superior to the national interest, it is impossible. The national interest led to the creation of the agencies including FAAN. If there are clear issues at the airport and somebody is saying fix this, and you are talking about mandate, you are missing the whole point.

 

The National Assembly, due to a lot negative activities at the nation’s airports and complaints of activity of security personnel, is proposing to midwife a Bill into law, the Bill would ensure a single security outfit similar to Transport Security Administration, (TSA) in United States of America that would take charge of security at the airports, this a lot of experts and security consultants think, will curb the menace of touting and extortion at the nation’s airports

 

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