In a bid to reduce multiple agencies involved in manual bag checks at the airport, the federal government has approved N3 billion for airport scanners.
The minister of aviation, Festus Keyamo, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa.
He said the proposed solution involves the supply and installation of state-of-the-art customized explosive and narcotic detection screening systems.
According to him, the approved contract will cover major international airports in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Enugu.
He explained that these cutting-edge systems, equipped with remote and dual-view capabilities, aim to revolutionise security procedures.
He said instead of manual bag searches, the new detection machines will swiftly identify explosives or other illicit substances as bags pass through.
The minister said, “It’s what Nigerians will be interested in because, since I came to 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’ll see various agencies lined up; NDLA, they’ll say open your bag, Immigration, they’ll say open your bag, Customs, they’ll say open your bag, EFCC, they’ll 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. When they pass your bags through the machines, they detect explosives or any other thing and that’s the end of the search.
“So, it’s 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 of Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
“Luckily enough, the Council saw the need for this kind of equipment in order to relieve Nigerians of such experiences and it was graciously approved by Council.”
Keyamo also said the council approved a memo for signing of a bilateral air service agreement with the Republic of Guyana.
“We have entered into an agreement with Guyana and they have been very anxious to have direct flights from Guyana to Nigeria.
“This agreement was entered way back in 2014, with the administration at that time, but you understand that international agreements, which are treatises, don’t come into force until their internal processes are completed in both countries,” he said.