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FG to site shooting range facilities, deploy soldiers to major airports in Nigeria

The Federal Government, yesterday, said efforts were ongoing to site shooting range facilities at major airports nationwide, to train Aviation Security (AVSEC) officials in firearm usage, Guardian reports.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at the opening of the Security Week of the Airports Council International (ACI) Africa, in Abuja, said government was closing in on a grand plan to keep entry ports safer.

A shooting range is a specialised facility designed specifically for firearm usage qualifications, training, practice or competition.

Sirika said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the deployment of K9 security (special dogs), among others, at the country’s airports.

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“We are working with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other stakeholders to quickly actualise the approval by FEC for aviation security personnel to bear arms. I am glad to inform you that our approach, so far, has been holistic and result-oriented. The construction of shooting ranges at major airports is nearing completion,” Sirika said.

The minister, who was represented by the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, said the new measure would protect national and international civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.

Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, said following the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) re-launch of the Year of Security Culture (YOSC) 2021, FAAN, in collaboration with key stakeholders, in November 2020, designed the AVSEC roadmap.

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FAAN Director of Aviation Security Services, Group Captain Usman Abubakar (rtd), said government should consider the formation of a Rapid Response Squad capable of providing timely and professional interventions in any crisis and distress situations.

MEANWHILE, human Rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has called for Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) to have priority in airport concession process based on its efficient management of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MM2).

He stressed the need to encourage local investors to grow the Nigerian economy and also guarantee employment for citizens.

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In a statement, he said his verdict is based on personal experience. “I have no brief from Bi-Courtney, its management or my Learned Brother Silk, Dr. Wale Babalakin.

“I have used the MM2 local airport for years now and without any doubt, it remains the best managed local airport in Nigeria. The management is efficient. It renders friendly services and parades durable infrastructure.

“The management of traffic, in both vehicular and human movements, is commendable, given the volume of passengers using the MM2 faculties daily,” he said.

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