Airport Taxi Operators Raise the Alarm Over Infiltration By Suspected Terrorists

Taxi operators under the aegis of Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN) have warned that terrorists may infiltrate the nation's airports as touts are allowed to mill everywhere around terminal facilities, especially at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

The operators observed that the infiltration of these touts as well as the illegal car hire operators had been unchecked over the years but was becoming very dangerous now that the country is under terror threat and airports are their popular targets. They also stressed that they were alarmed about the ease with which they access different parts of the airport facilities despite the fact that the Nigeria Air Force in conjunction with other security operatives have mounted checks at the major and other airports in the country.

The operators also said concerned authorities must urgently curtail the activities of illegal cab drivers around the country's airports as they pose grave danger to the security of passengers and facilities around the terminals. They disclosed that 98 per cent of the cases of missing passengers had been established to have boarded unregistered cabs at the airports, whose drivers took such passenger (s) to unknown locations. ACHAN also said terrorist elements could infiltrate such cabs to bomb airport facilities since they often drive clºose to the arrival halls of the airport terminals.

President of ACHAN, Chief Stanley Worlu Dike, who spoke on behalf of the association, said FAAN should put urgent measures in place to curtail their operations as they have increasingly flooded major airports in Nigeria. Dike, who spoke at ACHAN 2015 AGM in Lagos at the weekend, also urged FAAN to provide office space for ACHAN members as the association complements the efforts of government in providing job opportunities for young Nigerians. Also Chairman, Board of Trustees of ACHAN, Alhaji Muili Yinusa, said the military location at the General Aviation Terminal 1 (GAT) that the Lagos airport has become a safe haven for such unregistered operators.

"A lot of illegal vehicles operate from the military location at the GAT and when they steal passengers' luggage or property, they run down to look for the Chairman of ACHAN." Yinusa therefore urged FAAN to cancel the proposed 'Pay As You Go' policy the airports management authority is set to impose on ACHAN members. "We pay millions of naira to FAAN annually, so we are supposed to enjoy certain privileges as other concessionaires. This is too much on my people," he said.

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By 9jatravel / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

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on Dec 02, 2015

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