The Federal Government has concluded plans to deploy light arms-wielding security guards as well as trained dogs in the nation’s airports.
Government also hinted of plans for a national carrier to be floated through a public, private sector partnership arrangement.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja yesterday.
Sirika, who gave the indication of the plan for the airports yesterday said following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, the authorities were already collaborating with officials of the ministry of interior to fine tune the arrangement.
According to the minister, government was concerned about the aviation sector in Nigeria hence the need to have a robust security structure in all the various airports in the country.
He said: “We are very serious about aviation security. Just last week, the president approved that aviation security personnel should bear arms, so we are trying to make them take the form and shape of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States of America with K-9 dogs, handcuffs, the guards, the batons, light weapons and others.
Sirika said the minister of interior is helping in realising and enforcing the directive of the president.
“They are partnering with us and other stakeholders to keep our airports secure. All these will be unveiled at the next stakeholders meeting,” he said.
The minister further disclosed that consequent upon the planned six weeks closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and diversion of flights to Kaduna sometime in March, the council yesterday also approved the contract for the completion of the Kaduna Airport Terminal buildings awarded by the government in 2011.
He explained that during the rehabilitation of the terminal building a contractor had noticed some structural damages to the building itself and then increased the scope of what to be done to put it to use, a development he said necessitated the variation of the initial contract sum from N500 million to N1.1billion.