The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in a bid to curb illegal activities and eliminate touting at the Hajj and Cargo Terminal area of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, has constituted a taskforce to screen operations within the terminal.
Already activities at the terminal have been restricted to 12 hours (7am-7pm) from the initial 24 hours period
FAAN however said that the directive would not affect the operational activities, but commercial activities within the terminal.
Speaking on the latest initiative, the Terminal Manager, Hajj and Cargo Terminal, Mr. Asizehi Musa stated that the essence of the taskforce was not to threaten any agency or operator, but to ensure sanity at the terminal, reduce touts and touting activities and make the nation’s airports in compliant with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
He explained that with the new approach, no truck would henceforth be allowed to spend the night at the terminal, adding that the management had over the years frown at such practices.
The Terminal Manager added that to make the new initiative a success FAAN would provide a patrol vehicle, which would monitor activities at the terminal and ensure that only those, who have business to transact within the terminal are allowed in.
He assured that FAAN would cooperate with all stakeholders especially the cargo agents, Nigeria Customs Service, ground handling companies, Nigeria Police and other stakeholders within the terminal.
According to him, “For many years, the issue of access control has been on the front burner and it seems the FAAN is incapacitated, which is not true. But, we can’t allow things to continue like this. Access control is very important and necessary to the safety of all users. The era of 34 hours operation would be a thing of the past.
He continued, “As from this moment, activities are now reduced to 12 hours and I seek the cooperation of all. However, there will be sensitisation exercise before the taskforce commence work in full. But, the restriction exercise does not affect operation areas. It’s only for commercial purpose.”
On his part, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Hajj and Cargo Terminal, Mr. Benjamin Adewunmi said that it was necessary to take full control of the territory by FAAN.
He posited that if the taskforce was able to carry out its activities without dutifully, security and safety of persons, equipment and cargo would further be enhanced.
Adewunmi called for the cooperation of all, most especially the customs agents whom he described as partners in progress, promising that the organisation would ensure the success and sustainability the new regime.
With this restriction, activities would not be shut at both the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company of Nigeria (NAHCo) PLC and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) warehouses at 5pm while loading of trucks for cargo would not exceed 7pm daily.
There are 17 organisations at the Hajj and Cargo terminal.
Some of the organisations are NAHCo, SAHCOL, DHL, Police, Customs, Nigeria Immigration Service, Department of State Security (DSS), Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Customs agents.
Others are Allied Air Cargo, Emirates, Air France/KLM, British Airways, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Port Health, Ethiopian Airlines and National Agency for Food Drug and Control (NAFDAC) among others.
By this new security approach,each organisation is expected to submit names of two staff as members of the taskforce committee. In all, there are 34 members in the taskforce.
Others present at the inauguration ceremony were the representatives of DSS, Police, Customs, Airport Manager, SAHCOL and NAHCo among many others.