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FAAN introduces armed security outfit for international airports nationwide 


The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has introduced a new armed security team to enhance security and curb the menace of touting and other illegal activities at international airports nationwide.

The security outfit, known as the Aviation Security (AVSEC) unit, was officially unveiled by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, represented by Bunmi Onabanjo-Kuku, Managing Director of FAAN, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos on Monday.

The news of the AVSEC unit’s inauguration was shared by the Minister and FAAN via their official X (formerly Twitter) accounts.

“As part of the steps we earlier promised Nigerians to take to curb the menace of touting and other illegal activities around our airports, earlier today the Managing Director of FAAN, on my behalf, unveiled the armed Aviation Security (AVSEC) unit at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos,” a portion of Keyamo’s post read. 

The Minister’s post further revealed that the AVSEC unit has the mandate to arrest and prosecute touts and other suspected criminals around international airports. This security outfit will also be replicated in the other four international airports in the country.

FAAN’s post on X announced that the President approved the introduction of this new security unit for international airports. ... highlighted that the unit’s authorization to bear arms aligns with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, and selected staff from the AVSEC Department were subsequently trained.

Keyamo’s post also mentioned that the introduction of AVSEC at the airports is in addition to ongoing inter-ministerial efforts to specifically address issues of extortion, bribery, and begging involving government agencies within the airports.

An enduring issue plagues the international airports in the country: the persistent menace of begging and extortion.

Both Nigerians and foreigners arriving or departing have often encountered or witnessed these troubling activities, tarnishing the nation’s image.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has acknowledged receiving numerous complaints about this problem, attributing the misconduct to a few unscrupulous individuals.

He emphasized that staff from the Ministry of Aviation are not involved; instead, the problem lies with personnel from other federal agencies stationed at the airports.

Keyamo highlighted his ongoing collaboration with other ministers, government branches, and relevant agencies to address this issue.

A coordinated effort, led by the National Security Adviser, he disclosed was in progress to find a solution.

The establishment of the Aviation Security (AVSEC) unit is the solution that is aimed at curbing begging and extortion and enhancing overall security at international airports.