By Lawani Mikairu, LAGOS

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said the construction of shooting ranges at major airports in the country is nearing completion.

This, he said, is part of measures to train aviation security personnel in the industry.

Sirika made the disclosure while declaring open the maiden edition of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Airports Council International, ACI, Africa, Security Week in Abuja.

He said the Federal Executive Council, FEC, recently approved the the deployment of (K-9) security at the country’s airports following the ministry of aviation presentation.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, said this is expected to enhance the safeguarding of national and international civil aviation assets against acts of unlawful interference. 

Sirika said: “We are working with FAAN and other stakeholders to quickly actualise the approval of the  Federal Executive Council, FEC, for Aviation Security personnel to bear arm.

“We are currently addressing the challenges related to damaged, incomplete and non-existent perimeter fences at Nigeria airports because as the first layer of defence, airport perimeters will minimise attacks, prevent incursion and enhance general security.”

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, said following the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO’s re-launch of the Year of Security Culture (YOSC) 2021, FAAN in collaboration with key stakeholders in November 2020, designed an approved AVSEC roadmap.

The FAAN helmsman also said “to move these policy issues into measurable actions, we have focused on capacity development for our security personnel whose professionalism has become a source of pride to the entire country.”

 In his contribution, FAAN Director of Aviation Security Services, Group Captain Usman Abubakar (rtd) said government should consider the formation of a Rapid Response Squad.

He said the squad should be “capable of providing timely and professional interventions in any crisis and distress situations to arrest the ubiquitous and unconventional pattern of the new sets and levels of potential security threats against civil aviation in Nigeria and the Sahel/Sub-Saharan region as a whole.”

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