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U.S sends security agents to assess Lagos airport amidst global security threats

A three-man Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from United States (US) of America has arrived Nigeria to commence security assessment of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said that the delegation would commence their duties immediately.

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Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Relations of the agency, made this known on Monday in Lagos in a document posted on the NCAA’s website.

The agency said the team, comprising Transportation Security Specialists, was received by Abdullahi Sidi, the acting Director-General of NCAA, at the Aviation House.

Adurogboye said the assessment, which was expected to cover critical areas of the airport, would last 10 days.

This assessment though carried out annually is coming at a time when the USA feels it may be facing security threats across various countries after President Donald Trump’s carried out a lethal targeted strike against an Iranian general justifying the strike as an act of self-defense.

John Ojikutu, former commandant of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, said the TSA audit is a little bit higher than the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit.

He said the security agents come mainly because they have their airline that comes to Nigeria and they want to ensure that the standard of their security is not below their own standard.

“They have a lot of check list. They will go round the perimeter checks, check the baggage screening and check point screening. They will check the outbound and inbound passengers. If they don’t have American airlines coming here, they won’t be here.

“They are coming at a time when they sense a threat to the America interest in virtually every country including Nigeria, where they have the Boko-Haran and with what has happened in Iran, they are hoping that it won’t spread through the airports.

“So, if there are areas that are open that terrorists can penetrate, they will tell us to close up the areas and if we don’t close it up, they will stop their aircraft from coming in,” Ojikutu added.

While thanking the team for the routine visit, Sidi assured them of the authority’s readiness to ensure success of the assessment.

He said that the agency would collaborate more closely with the TSA to promote security in and around the nation’s airports.

Okplefu Akoja, Head, NCAA Aviation Security; Peter Amasa, Head, NCAA AVSEC Training & Certification; Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations and Mahmud Yakubu, Technical Assistant to the Director-General, were present at the brief meeting.

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