Sirika assures of aviation infrastructures’ expansion to improve security

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Monday, assured that the Federal Government was ready to expand infrastructures in the aviation sector, to improve safety and security.

Sirika gave the assurance in his opening speech at the 2021 Nigerian Airports’ Security Week under the theme: “Promoting security culture at Nigerian airports.”

The minister was represented at the event by Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Sirika noted that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Airports’ Council International (ACI) organized the event to collaborate with all industry stakeholders, to promote security that gave civil aviation its uniqueness.

According to him, the federal government had deliberated on prioritising security with adequate funding so as to assure continuous security improvement.

“The Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, and particularly the Federal Ministry of Aviation under my watch, will ensure building, sustaining and continual improvement of the state of security at our airports as a key priority.

“We have continued to place enormous value on the security of passengers, crew, and airport workers across stakeholders’ operation, including the renewal, modernisation and expansion of all infrastructures that will guarantee the safety and security of every single life.

“Also, every aircraft in-flight or on-ground, including the protection of critical national infrastructures and asset tied to civil aviation,” he said.

The much needed investments in the entire value chain of air transportation in Nigeria will be a mirage without an enabling environment where security is accorded primacy, he added.

The minister stated the significance of a security culture, supported and maintained by risk-resilient organisations and mitigated against both internal and external threats.

Sirika said the ministry had sustained the training and capacity development of security and non-security personnel in spite of setbacks caused by COVID-19, in a bid to guarantee a safe, secure and seamless restart after lockdown.

“Our commitment to the security of Nigeria’s aviation industry has been demonstrated in unprecedented ways.

“Quite recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the deployment of nine (9) security apparatuses at the nation’s airports following the minister’s presentation.

“This is expected to upscale the safeguards of national and international civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference in limits yet to be recorded in Nigeria’s history.

Contributing, FAAN Managing Director, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, said efforts would be made to strengthen the establishment of positive security practices among employees and align security to the core business goals of the aviation sector.

The primary objectives of the roadmap designed and approved in November 2020, are to enable effective engagement of the various sectors of the airport system and drive the implementation of ICAO’s vision for the Year of Security Culture (YOSC), Yadudu said.

“The roadmap covers nine (9) key areas that include: awareness workshop/ seminar/symposium; policy and process articulation; enhance security reporting system; community relations; security communication; and standardized/ structured security awareness programme.

“Also, signage, poster and announcements; increase in the number of AVSEC instructors; and functional training schedule/ programme and background checks,” he added. (NAN)