Security: FAAN commissions 120 AVSEC special force across International airports

FAAN

The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, on Monday, commissioned 120 officers of the Aviation Security (AVSEC) Special Force that have been trained to bear arms as part of her mission to beef up security across airports in the country.

Kuku, who spoke at the commissioning of 30 of the personnel at the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport  Lagos, said it was a remarkable moment for the agency as it takes constructive steps to get Nigeria’s aviation security team kitted in line with the global standards.

Speaking at the event, the FAAN MD said: “This is for them to help us in terms of securing our assets, in terms of helping to secure lives, as well as the people within the aviation environment specifically at the airports. So again, as I mentioned, it’s remarkable for us, we’re happy that we spent a significant amount of time in terms of training them, in terms of identifying the sorts of individuals that are part of this squad.

They’re quite professional, as you can see, and they will continue to engage as well as work closely with other security agencies.”

Kuku allayed any fears of the security team deploying their arms for use as excessive force in the course of their duty, even as she cautioned passengers and airport users to go about their businesses in an orderly manner.

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She reiterated that “the arms they carry today show that they are now an elite squad that will complement the aviation security staff that we have.

What is critical is that we want to make sure that we can deter people. We hope that we do not have to use force. In the event that they need to, they will coordinate with all of the other security agencies. The focus is to make sure that they are helping us in terms of executing all of our desires, specifically around making sure that there are no illegal activities that go on.”

Speaking on the facilities where the personnel will be deployed, the FAAN CEO declared; “We are starting with the five international airports. That’s Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Enugu. There is a similar exercise going on. We do have about 120 people who have been trained. It is a recurring training program. In Lagos, I believe we have about 30 of them.

As mentioned, the special squad role will be to critically work with all of the other security agencies. This is very important. And I say, it’s a significant milestone. You can see them, they’re gallant, they’re kitted, they’re ready to protect, and they’re ready to serve.”

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She expressed gratitude to President Bola AhmedTinubu GCFR; the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, the National Security Adviser, for their support in achieving this noble objective.

We are quite grateful for the support that we have received from the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo as well as from the National Security Adviser. And of course, the Office of the President, in getting us up to this point. We did have some challenges starting off initially, but with their support, we’ve been able to get this rolling. So we’re grateful. And we’re ready to serve.”

On collaboration with sister security agencies at the airports, she said, “We’re also collaborating very closely with all of the security agencies across the airports. I know that the leaders of every single one of those started meeting with them. I was with the Chief of Air Staff last week in  Abuja, and he’s working very closely with us.”

Speaking on the next phase, Kuku said “The next phase for us is the coordination. So you see that we started a number of campaigns over the weekend, largely around making sure that we say no to corruption at our airports. They’re here, as I said, to make sure that we deter. We see all sorts of elements, unscrupulous elements who are coming in, who are potentially attacking individuals, and we don’t want that to continue to happen. But as mentioned earlier, the idea is not to use any force.

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“We need to make sure that the people who work within our community in the airports are also behaving in a manner that is palatable and conspicuous to our passengers.”

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