…….suggest review of security systems
An aviation security expert, retired group Captian John Ojikutu says security at Nigerian airports have been compromised with the frequent incidents of stowaways.
He said, he is no longer comfortable with the non- challant attitude of security agencies to their responsibilities of ensuring the safety and security of passengers and other airport users.
Speaking at the quarterly breakfast meeting if the Aviation Roundtable Safety Initiative in Lagos, Ojikutu called for the review of the security system of all airlines especially Arik Air due to the frequency of stowaways recording on its aircraft citing the recent incident in South Africa, where the lifeless body of a man was found in the wheel well of its aircraft during routine maintenance.
“This is giving Nigeria a bad image”
He however blamed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA for failing to do its job of oversight.
According to him, “If you cannot protect airlines, you are not carrying out your responsibilities. If NCAA is harm-strung something is wrong with all of us.”
He added, “NCAA should be held responsible for stowaway recorded in the industry because if they have done their regulatory job well on the airports, we will not talking about this here.”
Ojikutu observed that, there were too many entry and exit points particularly at the Lagos international airports, added that there were no perimeter fencing which could gives would-be-terrorist the access to the sensitive parts of the airports.
Speaking in the vein, another security expert, Mr. Ayo Obilana wondered why there should be 15 security check points at the airports yet, security is breached on a daily basis.
He therefore suggested among other things, the need to review the legislation in this regard to enhance security at the airports, need for procedures, training, equipment, lamented obsolete security equipment, intelligence gathering among others to promote the security situation at the airports.
“For instance, if there is no good security in Nigeria, tourism will not work, investors will not come, an average traveller goes through about 15 checks at an airport in Nigeria, Nigeria is the only country operating the ‘dash table’ where the security officials ask for money from travellers, the checks can be reduced to 3 effective ones.
According to him,“We need to focus on legislation, some of the laws are outdated, they need to be updated, we also need to look at the training to be effective, as well as the equipment, we need to look at insider threats, intensify intelligence gathering”,