Posted by By Kenneth Ehigiator on
THE Federal Government has set up a committee to investigate alleged unwholesome activities of operatives of Nigerian Customs and Immigration Services at the nation’s air and seaports.
KANO—THE Federal Government has set up a committee to investigate alleged unwholesome activities of operatives of Nigerian Customs and Immigration Services at the nation’s air and seaports.
Aviation Minister, Prof. Babalola Borishade, who disclosed this in Kano during his familiarisation tour of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Monday, said government was not comfortable with the extortionist activities of operatives of both agencies. According to him, such activities were frustrating efforts being made by the Federal Government to make the airports and seaports friendly to users.
"Government has set up a committee to investigate reported unwholesome activities of junior operatives of the Nigerian Customs and Immigration Services.
"Mr. President is very uncomfortable about it. The issue is discussed at every Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings, and that is why this committee has been set up to see what we can do about this problem," Prof. Borishade said.
He lamented that the activities of the operatives were not only damaging to the nation’s image, but also thwarting government’s efforts at shoring up the status of the Kano airport for Category 111stardard status set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Borishade, who noted that the airport represented a window through which visiting foreigners see the country, said airlines and passengers alike have overtime complained about being extorted by the operatives.
He said passengers were often intimidated to part with their money by the operatives who, according to him, have defied several entreaties to put a stop to their nefarious activities.
The minister also dropped hint of government’s plans to rightsize the workforce of aviation parastatals as part of its reforms of the aviation sector, but stressed that the measure would come only after a thorough assessment of the staff strength of each parastatal.
"However, for those who may want to pose an obstacle to government’s reforms programme in the aviation sector, we’ll have to ask them to go because we will not want anybody to hold us back," said Prof. Borishade.
On autonomy for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Prof. Borishade said his ministry was ready to lobby the National Assembly to ensure that the NCAA Autonomy Bill was passed into law.
The autonomy, he noted, was critical to air safety as well as fast-tracking Nigeria’s quest at securing ICAO category 1 certification, the highest level of aviation development.
These terms and conditions contain rules about posting comments. By submitting a comment, you are declaring that you agree with these rules:
Failure to comply with these rules may result in being banned from further commenting.
These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time and without notice.