How FAAN Successfully Reduced Incursions at Lagos Airport – Afegbai

There is no doubt that the ongoing efforts of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to make the airports’ environment too hot for undesirable elements to continue with their criminal activities is  positively gaining public confidence. The latest of such efforts include: the establishment of a task force  team consisting of FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) and the Air Force, led by the Director of Special Duties at FAAN, Mr Henry Agbebire as the chairman and the unveiling of 120 armed FAAN AVSEC Special Elite Squad.

The director in charge of the directorate of Aviation Security Services in FAAN, ACP Igbafe Albert Afegbai on whose shoulder lies the responsibility of capitalizing on the collaborative security efforts to enhance safety and secured air transport through the airports in line with the federal government’s policy of ease of doing business in this interview allays the fears of  the public on the probable uncertainties that may lead to clash of interests amongst the now armed FAAN special squad and other law enforcement agencies at the airports and other safety issues.


How FAAN’s creation of special task force will not escalate conflicts among multiple security agencies at the airports:
The formation on the squad is not to undermine the security we already have but it is just to improve on the security mostly on the perimeter fencing areas. More often than not we have a lot of incursions from the perimeter area. Look at Lagos, especially in Ejigbo axis, there are a lot of dilapidated structures around the fence through where intruders gain access to the airport to steal. I don’t think there will be any clash because everyone has their duties, custom has its duties to check for unauthorized duty-bound items. The Police we have here are the bomb unit, we have the NCDC, Civil defense, the Air Force. The AirForce has a joint patrol with the Aviation Security, so I don’t think there will be any clash just like the Civil defense was created many years ago and they’ve not had any clash with the police. Everybody has its own distinctive work and most of all the armed unit are not for the internal usage of the terminals. They are not for the internal but external, mostly in Nigeria what people fear mostly is when they see you with arms, so all these touting, illegal parking, drivers coming to struggle passengers, trouble passengers, those are the things we want to look at.

Observed reduction in security incursion:
Before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit, a lot of improvements were made. Especially, a lot of CCTV Cameras were put in place. We had blind spots where there were no CCTV Cameras which we have done. We bought more than 400 CCTV Cameras, we installed serviceable cameras both at the perimeter fences and other areas. They are being controlled, we have the control room established and the Emergency Operation Control room (EOC) being manned by Avsec and the fire service. When we came onboard, we saw a lot of operational vehicles which were down, which we have rehabilitated and put to use with the AVSEC. This enables AVSEC have up to 24-hour patrol around the perimeter, the landside and airside. A lot of security measures were put in place.

So far, the ministry and MD pushed for the approval of 3000 walkie talkies, out of which we have been supplied 500. What we want to do is we want to make sure every AVSEC personnel and the fire service all have personal walkie talkies, this is for the ease of communication.
Report of the probe of the 2023 theft of ILS at Lagos airport:

The Instrument Landing System (ILS) stealing happened before we came on board. After we came on board we introduced the system of patrol measures including the Airforce and AVSEC. The people behind missing runway light were sanctioned. At that time the incident happened, some of the AVSEC personnel were dismissed, some were relieved of their duties, if I can remember the CoS was relieved and replaced and the new person is still there. So, some measures were taken by the FAAN management.

Efforts to enforce uniformity amongst AVSEC officials:

When I came onboard, we wrote for uniforms but incidentally, when the paper got to procurement department, I realized we have three 40 feet containers of uniforms abandoned in the Wharf for 11 months. So, we are in the process of clearing it to know what we have. The new uniform, when I came onboard, I  found out it was not gazetted  so no one can do it without question but now they are about to be gazetted. The way it is now, we have uniforms for office personnel, there are some for tactical squads, we will have light uniforms for Fridays like t-shirts, combat shirts and face caps to make it easy and a little bit relaxed, in a couple of months you would see the uniforms

Abandoned aircraft as security threat to airports:

If you notice three weeks ago, the Minister of aviation and Aerospace development, Barrister Festus Keyamo came, the Managing Director, Mrs Olubunmi Kikuyus, myself and some of the directors went to the graveyard where the abandoned aircraft are. The minister gave a marching order that they be removed and put in a secured place from there,  but the aircraft are owned by organizations and they are not things we are at liberty to deal with or discard. Beforr issues can be made regards disposition of the aircraft, it has to be by court order because you don’t just dispose of someone’s s property or he will come out and sue you.

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