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Drug trafficking: FAAN to take appropriate action against staff found guilty

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To serve as a deterrent, any staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) discovered to have a link with drug cartels at the airports in the tagging of passengers name on baggage with drugs is to be severely dealt with, so says the Authority.

This is just as the agency says those alleged to be involved  in the Zainab Aliyu’s case if found guilty will be punished appropriately before their hand over to security agencies.

General Manager Public Affairs FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu who disclosed this to aviation journalists in Lagos, said the report of the special task force set up by the Managing Director of FAAN to investigate the involvement of FAAN staff would be submitted soon, adding that this would  determine the punishment to be meted out based on their involvement.

Yakubu said the Agency was perturbed over allegation leveled against some staff of the agencies of their involvement in the recent case at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

“There is actually a special task force that was recently inaugurated by the MD FAAN, to look at all these allegations and to come up with suggestions on what to do and the way forward, I can assure you that if there is any truth to all these allegations, they will be dealt with appropriately”.

She explained that the Kano airport incident has awakened FAAN to heighten security which had resulted in the agency evolving measures of curtailing future occurrence.

According to Mrs.Yakubu, FAAN has moved the operation of unaccompanied luggage to the newly created cargo section for proper tagging while comprehensive profiling of background passengers and baggage handlers have commenced.

Mrs. Yakubu disclosed that six sniffer dogs have also been deployed to the Kano airport and more metal walk through screening detectors installed at the entrance into the terminal before boarding the aircraft.

According to her, the action was to ensure that no passenger pass through the airport with drug adding that the agency has intensified surveillance on baggage handlings under aviation security supervision.

Mrs. Yakubu explained that there had been an improvement of Close Circuit Television at the single interface desk to capture the area, stressing that FAAN was working hand in hand with NDLEA.

“We are working together, it is one aviation, so there is collaboration between immigration, customs, NDLEA and FAAN, we are all working together as a team because at the end of the day, it is all about Nigeria not just about FAAN, it is about our image, whatever we present to people that are coming into our country for the first time, so I can assure you that there is synergy, we are working together”.

The FAAN image maker further explained that it was the responsibility of the NDLEA to install drug detecting machines at airports not FAAN as noted by some stakeholders.

According to her, the Federal government had made recommendation for additional sophisticated scanners to be brought in to the country to complement the existing ones, stressing that they would be installed as soon as it arrived.

She advised passengers not to assist anyone to carry any form of bags at the airport and to get to the airport two hours before boarding to avoid unnecessary pressure.

Yakubu, while saying that all agencies were working together for the good of the country, expressed delight that the Ease of Doing Business had assisted in decongesting the terminal and brought sanity.

 

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