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FG approves N3.23bn scanners for Abuja airport, others

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The Federal Executive Council on Monday approved the award of a contract for the supply and installation of customised exclusive and narcotic detection screening systems for four international airports nationwide.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the close of this week’s Council meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa.

Keyamo said the detection screening systems, equipped with a drive view mechanism, will be operable in Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja; Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos; Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

“So it’s for the approval of the award of contract for the supply and installation of customised explosive and narcotic detection screening systems, with a remote and dual view for the international airports of Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

“Luckily enough, the Council saw the need for this kind of equipment in order to relieve Nigerians of such experiences and it was graciously approved by Council”, he said.

Explaining the rationale for the approval, he said, “Since I came to office, we have been inundated with complaints of the harrowing experiences that passengers go through at the airports where they have to physically search their bags.

“You’ll see various agencies lined up; NDLEA, they’ll say open your bag, Immigration, they’ll say open your bag, Customs, they’ll say open your bag, EFCC, they’ll say open your bag. I’m sure you all know about that and it’s been really getting under the skin of Nigerians.

“So we thought we should do something like you have the TSA in America, where you have detection machines. So when they pass your bags through the machines, they detect explosives or any other thing and that’s the end of the search.”

He also disclosed that the Council approved a memo for the signing of a bilateral air service agreement with the Republic of Guyana.

The agreement was entered in 2014 by the administration of that time, but you understand that the international agreements which are treaties do not come into force until their internal processes are completed and it is only a process of ratification by the relevant authorities.

Keyamo explained, “We have entered into an agreement with Guyana and they have been very anxious to have direct flights from Guyana to Nigeria.

“This agreement was entered way back in 2014, with the administration at that time, but you understand that international agreements, which are treatises, don’t come into force until their internal processes are completed in both countries.

“Our own internal process here involves a process of ratification of the treatise, so if I go out and sign an agreement with a country now, it doesn’t come into force, it doesn’t bind my country until I come back and then it goes through a process of ratification by the relevant authorities.

“In some cases, where you have to now domesticate it as a law, it goes to the National Assembly to pass into law, in line with the provisions of the constitution. In some other cases, it is just the executive that ratifies. In this case, it does not need domestication, doesn’t need legislation, it only needs ratification by the executive, which was done today. So that is for the memo regarding the bilateral service agreement with the Republic of Guyana.”

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