HomeNewsICAO Initiates Security Audit at Nigeria's Key Airports

ICAO Initiates Security Audit at Nigeria’s Key Airports

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An expert team from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has landed in Nigeria to initiate a comprehensive security audit of Lagos and Abuja airports as part of the 2024 ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP). This biennial exercise, conducted through the Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA), aims to evaluate and enhance aviation security measures, ensuring the safety and security of international flight operations and passenger welfare.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced the commencement of this vital audit process, which is set to span two weeks, concluding on March 22, 2024. This intensive audit will scrutinize various security facets including inflight security, passenger and baggage screening, and preventive measures against unlawful interference, among others.

The audit team, led by Callum Vine and comprising James Mabala, Tebogo Mphela, and Alagie Jeng, was warmly welcomed by Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo. Represented by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Keyamo highlighted the audit’s crucial role in reinforcing Nigeria’s aviation security framework in response to evolving global threats.

Nigeria’s dedication to upholding stringent security standards and practices was evident in Keyamo’s address. He lauded the collective efforts of regulatory bodies, security agencies, and aviation security personnel for their dedication to safeguarding the nation’s aviation sector.

Capt. Chris Najomo, acting Director General of NCAA, underscored the audit’s objectives to not only assess Nigeria’s compliance with international aviation security standards but also to measure the effective implementation of the country’s aviation security oversight system. This audit is pivotal in indicating the sustainability and robustness of Nigeria’s aviation security apparatus.

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja have been selected for on-site evaluations. These airports will undergo rigorous checks to verify the implementation of mandated security measures, serving as benchmarks for the country’s overall aviation security posture.

Najomo expressed optimism that Nigeria would improve upon its previous ratings due to significant advancements in the industry and the government’s unwavering commitment to securing air transportation. He assured the ICAO auditors of the NCAA’s full support and cooperation to facilitate a smooth and successful audit process.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, as the custodian of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP), has taken proactive steps to prepare for the audit. In anticipation, the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organisation (BAGASOO) conducted a mock Aviation Security (AVSEC) audit in early March 2024, covering both Lagos and Abuja airports to ensure readiness and compliance.

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