There is anxiety in the aviation sector following the withdrawal of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria fire and security personnel from the Osubi airstrip in Warri, Delta state.
Findings from investigations revealed that fire cover and security services hitherto provided by the FAAN were withdrawn and now managed the new management of the airstrip, Shoreline Oil Services, by providing its own security and fire cover for the airstrip.
Aviation stakeholders expressed fears that the action negated the aviation rules and regulations, which gave power to FAAN to provide both security and fire cover for airports in the country.
Checks by financialstreet.ng has shown that the management of Shoreline who took over the airstrip from Shell has now provided fire and security personnel, an action described by some concerned stakeholders as not in the interest of the country and a disturbing signal.
An industry source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that they ought to have sent the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency out of the airstrip to stop providing aeronautical services on their own.
But while reacting to the development, the Secretary-General of ANAP, Abdulrasaq Saidu, said that withdrawing fire and security services was an easy way for external forces to attack the country, as the people providing security and fire were inexperienced.
When warning of the dangers ahead as a result of the development, Saidu queried the reasons behind the withdraw of FAAN services against the Act setting up the agency that gave them the power to provide fire cover and security to all the airports across the country.
He said the action was tantamount to corruption and called on the government to order FAAN back to the Osubi airstrip, adding that the country was not ripe to engage private security and fire services at airports and airstrips in the country.
But responding to the development, the Director, Aerodrome and Airspace, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Mohammed Odunowo, said it was not true that NCAA gave the FAAN the directive to withdraw its services from the Osubi airstrip.
Odunowo said that NCAA was aware of some open items at the airstrip, of which they have written to the management to address and which they were working on to close them.
He said regular audit of all the airports across the country was ongoing. “As the regulator we are in contact with all of them,” he added.
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