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April 15, 2024
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UN security experts arrive in Nigeria to conduct audits at Lagos and Abuja airports.

A team of experts have been sent to Nigeria by a United Nations body regulating global air travel, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) auditors has arrived Abuja, Nigeria, to commence the 2024 ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) through Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) for Lagos and Abuja airports.

The objective of the audit was to ensure that the airports are safe and secure for flight operations, especially international flights and that passengers’ lives are protected while at the airports.

ICAO explained that the objective of the ICAO USAP was also to promote global aviation security through continuous auditing and monitoring of member States’ aviation security performance to enhance their aviation security compliance (Annex 17) and oversight capabilities.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority is the nation’s statutory regulatory authority responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP).

The NCAA stated that the audit would cover the following areas: Inflight Security (IFS), Passenger and Baggage Security (PAX), Acts of Unlawful Interference (AUI), Facilitation (FAL), Legislation (LEG), Training (TRG), Quality Control Function (QCF), Operations (OPS) and Cargo, Mail and Catering (CGO).

The arrival of ICAO auditors was disclosed by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority on Monday, where it stated that the Universal Security Audit Continuous Monitoring Approach would run for two weeks starting from on Monday, and would terminate on the 22nd March, 2024.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, welcomed the team of auditors to Nigeria for the all-important mission. In his opening remarks.

According to the Minister, the USAP represents a concerted effort to uphold the highest standards of security across all facets of Nigeria’s aviation industry. Through rigorous assessments, comprehensive evaluations, and collaborative partnerships, Nigeria aims to fortify her defenses against evolving threats and vulnerabilities.

Keyamo, who was represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, while commending the dedication and diligence of all stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, security agencies, service providers and aviation security personnel whose unwavering commitment he said ensured the success of Nigeria’s aviation security endeavours, expressed hope that there would not be a significant security concern.

The acting Director General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, while delivering his opening address, welcomed the ICAO auditors to the 2024 USAP CMA audit, stating that the objectives of the ICAO USAP CMA was to improve global aviation security (AVSEC)

Najomo said as part of the on-site auditing process, both the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja have been selected as airports where verification of the implementation of security measures will be carried out.

He, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria would surpass last rating with the progressive transformations that had taken place in the industry since the last exercise and considering the level of commitment of the current administration to ensure secure, safe and efficient air transportation in Nigeria.

Najomo promised to provide support and maximum cooperation towards ensuring a hitch-free exercise.

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