Nigeria’s civil aviation security has received the endorsement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which scored the country 96.4 percent after an audit of the nation’s civil aviation security system.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika while speaking with State House correspondents moments after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the feat achieved by the country. He also presented the ICAO certificate to the President.
Sirika said the feat was recorded by the country following the restructuring of the nation’s security around the aviation sector. He said:
“ICAO, having the statutory responsibilities of monitoring, policing and regulating the aviation industry and setting standards, took a survey of 193 member-countries out of which 16 were found to have improved tremendously the security around their aviation system.
“Gladly, Nigeria was one of those 16 member-countries. Our score from the audit of ICAO was 96.4 percent; this is a remarkable improvement from a country that was scoring less than 50 percent in the past.
“Today, from the approvals we got from our president and his guidance, we have been able to attain 96.4 per cent, which is near perfection.
“In recognition of this, Nigeria received a certificate in Montreal, Canada during the General Assembly of ICAO, and we are proud to announce that we are part of those 16 member-countries that received this certificate which I just presented to Mr President.”
According to Sirika, threats by some passengers of Turkish Airline against airport officials in 2015 was a wake-up call to the country’s aviation officials, adding that the officials had kept improving the security architecture across the country’s airports, thus leading to the attainment of a near perfect situation.
“We developed a template for security, engaged experts, came for approval from the president and he graciously approved that we reorganise the system to make it better.
“We included the appointment of key individuals, including the Head of Aviation Security in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, where we found a seasoned Group Captain, a security expert himself, and got him trained in aviation security and deployed him as head of security.
“Among other things, we put things in place to deal specially with insider security and that got us somewhere on the world map of aviation security,” he added.
Sirika also promised that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the country maintained the standard and continued to do well in the aviation sector.
According to him, 721 aviation security personnel had been profiled and trained by the Department of State Security Service in handling of guns and lots, adding that they would soon be deployed to enhance security at the country’s airports.
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