Minister Seeks External Security Help for Armed Touts, Unveils Plans for Aerotropolis 

Tough times await touts at the nation’s airports especially the international ones as the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has announced plans to tackle the menace of touting at the nation’s airports. 

At a media briefing recently, the Minister noted that, there are two types of touts: official and non-official touts some of whom are in uniform. 

He condemned the practice of airport personnel soliciting money from passengers, often leading to embarrassing incidents captured on social media.

To address this issue, the minister revealed ongoing discussions with security agencies, including the National Security Adviser and the Ministry of Interior. 

He mentioned the potential for a joint memo aimed at reducing human contact at airports, similar to procedures used by the United States’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

The goal is to minimize direct interactions between passengers and security personnel to prevent misconduct and enhance the country’s image.

Mr. Keyamo also called for increased security measures to tackle armed and unruly touts outside airport premises, seeking assistance from external security agencies as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) personnel are unarmed.

“For the touts outside, we are asking for backup, because FAAN don’t carry arms, some of these touts are armed, they are wayward people. So we are trying to call for help from normal security agencies, because normal FAAN are not armed to see how they can cooperate with us to flush them out of the airport, we need external help on that”.

The Minister also spoke about the development of the aerotropolis, a massive project aimed at transforming the airport experience. 

He announced that the government is advertising for international design consultants to develop a new master plan for the five international airports.

The Minister revealed that the budget has been allocated for the development of the aerotropolis, and the National Assembly and the President have agreed to the plan. 

“The money is in the budget, we put it there, the National Assembly, the President agreed with us, that we need to develop a new master plan for all the airports, we are starting from the five international airports”.

He emphasized the government’s commitment, under the leadership of the Vice President and the Ease of Doing Business Council, to addressing these challenges and implementing a comprehensive approach to improve airport operations and development.

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