Aviation security officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos have been warned to guide against complacency as it can jeopardise the safety and security of the airport.
Deputy general manager, AVSEC, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Nath Onoigboria , who gave the warning at the AVSEC MMIA annual seminar/lecture in Lagos said aviation was dynamic and officers must be willing to make the needed change and key in and to always update their knowledge as new security information comes.
According to him, “The major challenge we have is complacency among senior officers, it is the biggest challenge, the I know it all, there is nothing as dangerous like it, because when you get to a certain level and you say I know it all, if you don’t say it with your mouth, you say it with your mind and the way you carry yourself, already you have a challenge and that is the biggest problem most of our senior officers have.”
Speaking on the theme of the seminar, “Aviation Security, MMA Perspective,” Onoigboria emphasized that the key to effective security was information sharing, adding that any agency that fails to share information was jeopardising the safety of passengers, airlines, ground personnel, crew members, the public and facilities.
He pointed out that this could pitch the security agencies against themselves thereby making the airport vulnerable to attacks or criminal activities.
“We don’t want to share knowledge, we don’t want to share information, we take decision arbitrarily without making necessary contact and at the end of the day you instigate issues against stakeholders and other agencies within the airport personal issues become institutionalised, that must be dealt with,” he added.
On insider threat abuse, the DGM security said, “The issue of insider threat abuse cuts across all the agencies and stakeholders, that’s one of the biggest issues we have as regards to abuse of access control measures, regulations with regards to passenger movement, staff access to restricted areas and enforcement of rules with regards to permit.
“Insider threat is tied to corruption within the system. Insider threat fuels the corruption within the system, insider threat is tied to corruption, it is tied to familiarity, complacency, what you have done is that you have created a loophole, and there is also silo mentality.”
The airport manager, MMIA, Mrs. Victoria Shinaba, in her opening remarks commended the MMIA AVSEC for the good work they have been doing in ensuring the safety of the facilities and the people.
She observed that AVSEC has been adequately equipped and trained to handle any situation, saying that,” We appreciate you, honestly you are doing a good job, there are some of you that have made themselves outstanding in their field.”
Shin- Aba commiserated with the AVSEC officers over the death of some of their colleagues last year and urged them never to give up in the discharge of their duties and to regularly check their health status.
Chief security officer, MMIA, Sadiku Mamman, in his address of welcome said the seminar on an annual basis has afforded them to bring to the front burner the core issues that had presented themselves as opportunities for continual review, redefinition and restructuring of airport and aviation security at Nigeria’s flagship airport, MMA.
He said the challenges they currently grapple with in ensuring hitch-free passenger facilitation during the 2019 general elections were the issues of the ongoing airport restructuring which involved the reconstruction, diversions and temporary pick up arrangement at the arrival level.
Mamman however assured of their resolve and capacity to surmount them with the support of the management.
“This confidence is borne out of the leadership, commitment and support that have been displayed over the years by the highest level of the Authority’s management. The unflinching support and resources the regional general manager, Mrs. Victoria
Shin-Aba has and continued to make herself available is indeed, reassuring and worthy of mention.”
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