17 July 2011

Nigeria: Aviation Minister Assures Passengers of Safety at Lagos Airport

Lagos — The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi has assured that the re-opening of the 700-car capacity abandoned underground parks at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos will not pose any security threat to the travelling public, just as she said that Close Circuit Television (CCTV) and bomb detectors will be installed in the park.

The minister's assurance may not be unconnected with fears expressed in some quarters that that re-opening of the car park which was closed in 1979 may threaten the security of both the travelling public and the airport itself, as it could become a safe haven for bombers to plant their explosive devises.

Ogiemwonyi who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, declared that the matter was well-thought out before the pronouncement was made, stressing that security of lives, cars and the entire building was effectively factored into the idea to revamp the moribund parking lot.

She explained that before the park is opened to the public for use, it has to be fully rehabilitated and with CCTV as part of the security measures that would be employed to secure the premises.

The minister said that bomb and explosive detectors as well as scanning machines would be stationed at all entrances and gates to screen all vehicles going in and out of the underground parks.

She added that it is not only the parking lot that would be secured; she said that the entire airports across the country will equally be fully equipped with security gadgets to take care of security of lives and property.

The decision to rehabilitate the abandoned parks is in line with the minister's vision to encourage the parastatals under her ministry to embrace innovative ways of management that would help boost their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Meanwhile, the minister has demanded for details of the Bi-Courtney suit which has so far hampered expansion plans at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos.

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