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FAAN, NSA Move To Stop Multiple Checks At Airports

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) have concluded plans to end the era of multiple physical checks at the nation’s airports.

This is coming amidst the rising number of military and paramilitary personnel at the country’s international airports despite complaints from passengers and stakeholders.

The Managing Director of FAAN, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, stated that the agency and the office of the NSA have agreed to carry out short and long-term measures to address the issue of multiple checks. She hinted at the creation of a joint coordination room where all the agencies could view CCTV cameras to ascertain what they were looking for.

Addressing newsmen, she said: “On the issue of checking baggage, it bothers me so much. That was the first thing about which I inquired when I assumed office. As far back as 2011 and 2012, when I was in the industry, I worked on it with the former minister.

“It goes beyond FAAN because a lot of those agencies including Nigeria Customs, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, we have almost everybody at the airports. We had Executive Order 001 during the Buhari administration to move them out under the then Vice President’s office. Now, we have the National Single Window. I have personally sat with the NSA over the last five weeks to discuss how we will streamline the facilitation.

“We have agreed on a few things. The first one is a short-term intervention where we reduce the number of agencies at the airports because we have some that were doing just sort of routine checks, just moving around to observe rather than disturbing passengers.

“The second is the longer term, a joint coordination room. We do have cameras, so we are asking all of those agencies, depending on what it is they are looking for, to move to the joint coordination room to look at the cameras and observe. For those who are more concerned with the baggage, they can move down to where we load the bags. That way, they have better visibility rather than disturbing passengers.”

On opening passengers’ baggage, she said: “I believe that came about a couple of years ago. A lot of countries had issues with scanning devices that were coming from certain countries and, as such, they require secondary screening. You will see that some of the airlines have companies doing secondary screening on their behalf, but a lot of passengers think that it is FAAN because we are the face of the agency and the airports.

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