FAAN, customs face off over ‘security breach’ at Lagos airport

Bunmi Aduloju

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says no agency is above standard security procedures at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, or any other airport in the world.

FAAN said this on Tuesday via its official Twitter handle in confrontation with tweets made by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over an alleged security breach at the airport.

Earlier, FAAN had accused the “customs area comptroller of Hajj and Cargo Terminal, MMIA and an officer of forcefully gaining access into the security restricted area (SRA) of the Lagos airport.” 

According to International Civil Aviation Organisation, the SRA is a high-security area of the airport – and only persons who are authorised (including having a genuine need to access the area) can enter.


But NCS described FAAN’s statement as a lack of understanding of the customs role. 

“Saying that a gate is restricted to Customs in an international cargo airport shows lack of understanding of NCS roles. Could it be that the gate is being made available for Smugglers?,” NCS had tweeted.

Replying via Twitter, FAAN said MMIA is not a dedicated International Cargo Airport for reasons tied to national security. 


It added that ‘all airfields in the world’ are security restricted areas.

“It’s a Cargo terminal in Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, is not a dedicated International Cargo Airport,” FAAN tweeted.

“In the interest of National security, All airfields worldwide are Security Restricted Areas (SRA), be it cargo or non-cargo airport.

“No staff or agency is beyond or above submitting to standard security procedures in any matter what ‘role’ the agency plays. There is no role that Justifies serial indiscipline and assaults on fellow citizens.

“FAAN assumes no superiority over any other agency. We support and cooperate with all agencies in the national interest, provided the safety and security of our staff is assured, otherwise, NO.” 

The agency added that the matter must not be trivialised as an affair of FAAN or the Nigeria Customs.

It said the issue is about the dignity and safety of its security personnel that are regularly being assaulted and humiliated in public. 


“It is unacceptable because they are also human with families and fellow citizens discharging a no less important national responsibility,” it tweeted. 

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