The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, says it will not shut down the Kaduna International Airport, in spite of Saturday’s attack on its workers.
Its Managing Director, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu, made the clarification during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Aviation to various airport agencies in Lagos.
Mr Yadudu said the management of FAAN, Lagos State Government and the various security agencies would not relent in their efforts at ensuring the safety of humans and equipment at all the nation’s airports.
He said FAAN had already beefed up security networks in all the nation’s airports.
According to him, the current attack will not discourage FAAN from clamping down on any heinous crime anywhere within the sector.
“This incident is entirely different from closing down the airport. It is a security concern that we have at our staff quarters.
“A lot of our staff do not even live in these quarters. If there is need for us to close it, we will close it, but this is even far away from it.
“There is no need for that drastic action; just small percentage of our members of staff stay in the staff quarters; the rest are all living in the town.
“You can see that the staff quarters are fenced. We are taking appropriate measures, but like I said, we just have to improve to counter these challenges.
“Though, the fence was broken, but somehow, somewhere, things happened, and now it is time for us to counter as we have been doing always,” he said.
Mr Yadudu insisted that FAAN had since 2020 further beefed up security at the various airports across the country, which he said had foiled attacks in the sector.
Responding, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Chairman of the Committee, regretted the sordid security challenges that had pervaded the country in recent times.
Mr Adeyemi, however, called on all to embrace local government policing.
The committee chairman said that Nigeria, as a federating unit, should not shy away from taking a decisive action to tackle the menace.
He said that in spite of increase in the population of the country over the years, the security architecture remained the same, while Nigeria was faced with porous borders.
Mr Adeyemi called for the restructuring of the entire country in a bid to address the various security challenges confronting it, wondering why some continued to kick against restructuring.
The committee chairman said that agitation for restructuring would not lead to secession of the country, as being claimed in some quarters.
Mr Adeyemi said that the time had come for Nigeria to look at, not just at state police, but a local government policing.
This, he said, was the factor behind the effective security system of the U.S.
“There is a need for us to develop new security architecture for Nigeria; our population has increased and we are still faced with porous borders.
“Nigeria is not a clear cut federal system. I don’t know how to describe this country; federal system or unitary system?
“But, I do know that Nigeria is said to be a federation and all nations where federalism is practiced, we do not run a unitary system of policing.
“I think the time has come for Nigeria to evolve a system that will appreciate the size of the nation and the diversities.
“You don’t recruit a graduate that graduated from the University of Maiduguri, for instance, and you post him to Lagos to come and police.
“He doesn’t know the system and the areas. So, criminals can take advantage of that,” Adeyemi said.
Also, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, the Managing Director of NAMA, appealed to the Federal Government to improve aviation security across the airports in the country.
Akinkuotu said this would further protect aviation infrastructure across the country.
He said that almost 24 hours after kidnappers abducted its staff, five family members and three other persons at the Kaduna Airport, their abductors were yet to make contact with the agency.