Fire cover and security services by the Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria, FAAN, to some state owed and private airports in the country
may soon be withdrawn over indebtedness.
The agency according to investigation has put machineries in motion to recover debts running into millions of naira.
Most of the indebted airports are said to have failed to respond to
the series of letters sent by the agency asking for their money while
others who had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pay in installments have been doing so without fail.
Gombe airport for instance is said to owe N35.7million while Asaba and Kebbi airports are paying their debts.
On the withdrawal of the services of FAAN from the Osubi airstrip in
Warri Delta state for over 2 years now for failure to pay up their debts,
Secretary General, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals,
ANAP, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu in a chat with newsmen in Lagos said the absence of FAAN security at the airstrip was a threat to national security.
He alleged that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, gave
approval to the operator of the airstrip to provide fire cover and
security for its facility.
Responding, Director, Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, Mr. Mohammed Odunowo denied the allegation, stressing that their primary duty was to ensure that safety and security standards were meant as stipulated in NCAA regulations.
“This is definitely not true am not aware of such a directive, not at all since 2016 that we have been here and this no such thing, we are in contact with the management team of Osubi, am not aware”
“Audit is very regular, we have the last reports, we conduct regular surveillance, Osubi is in our surveillance plan and we have their cumulated corrective action plan”
He stated that the airstrip was on their surveillance plan and regular
audits were carried out as at when due.
“am aware they have certified screeners and they have firemen, our regulation clearly stipulates the
requirement the operator has to meet and one of them obviously is fire and security. The operator is responsible for their own security and osubi has demonstrated it, I know they have an approved security programme”.
Investigation revealed that fire cover and security services hitherto provided by the FAAN were withdrawn and now managed the new management of the airstrip, Shoreline oil services by providing its own security and fire cover for the airstrip.
This, aviation stakeholders expressed fears that the action negated the aviation rules and regulations which gave power to FAAN to provide both security and fire cover for airports in the country.
Investigation further revealed that the management of Shoreline who took over the airstrip from Shell has now provided their own fire and security personnel, an action described by some concerned stakeholders as not in the interest of country and a disturbing signal.