Customs, FAAN to collaborate on airport security

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria. Source: Wikipedia

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria. Source: Wikipedia

Following the fracas between some officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, on June 3, 2015, a high level meeting of officers of both organizations was recently convened in Abuja.

The Customs delegation was led by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi, while FAAN was led by its Managing Director, Saleh Dunoma.

The joint meeting reviewed the facts of the event and resolved to maintain periodic consultations to facilitate airport security.

After their deliberations, the two chief executives expressed regrets over the incidence of June 3, 2015 and agreed to work together to avoid future occurrence.

The meeting also agreed that the Comptroller General of Customs will investigate the involvement of Customs Officers in the fracas and take appropriate punitive action if they are found guilty.

Other decisions include: That the Comptroller-General of Customs will review current deployments at MMIA, to ensure that only officers who meet the requirements of civility are retained. .

That FAAN will not restrict the movement of Customs Officers deployed at the airport, but will continue to manage access control to ensure airport security in line with global standards. .

That operations at the Airports will be guided by strict adherence to processes and procedures established by the Law, and . That current conflicts in the enabling Acts of the two organizations will be harmonized through a joint legal committee in line with International Best Practices.

It will be recalled that some men of NCS stationed at the Hajj and Cargo Terminal of MMIA, on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, manhandled four aviation security personnel of FAAN leading to serious injuries to these officials.

The incident started when two yet to be identified Customs officials attempted to gain entry into the air side (Runways) of the airport without any form of identification, an act that is in breach of security regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). They were however prevented from doing so by Aviation Security officials.

The Customs men then resorted to beating the aviation security officials in full public glare, leading to brief disruption of operations at the immediate vicinity.  The affected AVSEC (Aviation Security) staff treated at the Aviation Clinic near the airport.

Similar incident happened at the same airport last month, when a protocol staff of the Authority was beaten to a state of coma by men of the Nigerian Air Force for insisting on adherence to airport safety regulations.

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