Aviation security remains crucial to combating COVID-19 in Nigeria, says Sirika
Minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika has stated that national aviation security will continue to play a vital role in combating COVID-19.
This was stated on Thursday in Abuja at the National Aviation Security (AVSEC) Day and Awards 2021 themed, ‘Professional WorkForce: Prerequisite for Building an Effective Security Culture.’
The event aims at promoting security culture at airports in the country in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s declaration of the year 2021 as the year of security culture (YOSC).
“Nationally, aviation security remains vital in combating the existing COVID-19 pandemic, sustaining security and safety in the aviation industry and a link in the security chain of the nation,” NAN quoted Sirika as saying.
“In line with this, areas identified for improvement as well as the way forward in furtherance of the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Nigeria include liberalisation of market access and air carrier ownership and control.
“Others are cooperation throughout the air transport value chain, consumer protection, fair competition, security and facilitation, funding for infrastructure and intermodal integration, support to remote or peripheral destinations and capacity-building for qualified personnel.
“Also, support to the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), fleet modernisation and adherence to international instruments.”
The minister, represented by Talba Alkali, director of safety and technical policy at the aviation ministry, said Nigeria is prepared to support other sister countries to ensure that such a national dream of a vibrant and solid aviation industry was sustained on the continent.
“In view of the above, the federal government of Nigeria has made a number of achievements in this regard: the commissioning of ultra-modern airport terminals in Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, while the Lagos and Enugu terminals await commissioning,” he said.
“The commissioning of these terminals has aided the decongestion of the terminals on one hand while improving aviation security surveillance and patrol systems at the airports.
“The successful training of over 258 AVSEC officers who have undergone intensive training on STP 123 and other security-related training at Kano and Abuja is a testimony of our resolve to ensure skilled and professional manning level at our airports.”
Sirika added that the construction of shooting ranges at certain airports, training of aviation security officers on arm bearing, handling and canine deployment would strengthen the integrity of the airports due to threats to the aviation industry.
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