Passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA)
AviationHighlight

FG to install detection screening equipment at five international airports

.....to replace physical search of passengers' bags by security agencies

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The Federal Government is to install customized explosive and narcotic detection screening systems in five international airports in the country.

The airports are Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport, Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

Persecondnews reports that the award of the contracts for the supply and installation of the equipment was approved on Monday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired presided by President Bola Tinubu.

Briefing State House correspondents after the Council meeting, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), said the detection and screening equipment would alleviate the pains and sufferings of Nigerians while being screened at the airports.

“Since I came into office, we have been inundated with complaints of the harrowing experiences that passengers go through at the airports where they have to physically search their bags. I’m sure you all know about that and it’s been really getting under the skin of Nigerians.

“You will see various agencies lined up — NDLEA; they will say open your bag, Immigration; they will say open your bag, Customs; they will say open your bag, EFCC; they will say open your bag, and they will dip their hands in your bag.

“So we thought we should do something like you have the TSA in America, where you have detection machines. So when they pass your bags through the machines, they will detect explosives or any other thing and that is the end of the search.

“It is for the approval of the award of contract for the supply and installation of customized explosive and narcotic detection screening systems with remote and dual view for the international airports in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu,” he said.

Keyamo also disclosed that the signing of a bilateral air service agreement with the Republic of Guyana was approved by FEC.

“This agreement was entered into way back in 2014 with the federal government at that time, but they don’t come into force until their internal processes are completed in both countries.

“Our own internal process here involves a process of ratification of treatise. In some cases you have to domesticate it as a law and it goes to the National Assembly.

“In this case, it does not need domestication or legislation; it only needs the ratification by the Executive, which was done today,” said the aviation minister.

Also, FEC approved a memo on the draft National Response for United Nations Human Rights Universal Periodic Review presented by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).

International organizations, under the review, can launch investigations into alleged human rights abuses in Nigeria including alleged recruitment of underage children into the army forces and women rights abuses.

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