© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Customs, FAAN Settle Bitter Rivalry
By Samuel Malik
The Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, have agreed to work together, following a meeting of officials of the two government agencies aimed at settling the recent trouble that left some airport authority staff beaten by customs officials.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi, led his team to the meeting while his FAAN counterpart, Saleh Dunoma, did same.
After the meeting, which sought to identify what led to the skirmish, the two agencies agreed to set aside their differences and work together by maintaining “periodic consultations to facilitate airport security”.
According to a joint statement signed by Wale Adeniyi, Customs spokesperson, and his FAAN counterpart, Yakubu Dati, the Customs boss will investigate further the role played by his men, with punishment to be meted out to those culpable.
“The two Chief Executives expressed regrets over the incident of 3rd June 2015 and agreed to work together to avoid future occurrence.
“The Comptroller-General of Customs will review current deployments at MMIA, to ensure that only officers who meet the requirements of civility are retained,” the statement read.
Also, they agreed that “FAAN will not restrict the movement of Customs Officers deployed at the airport, but will continue to manage access control to ensure airport security in line with global standards.”
On June 3, some security personnel of FAAN were involved in a dispute with men of the Department of Customs and Excise posted to the Hajj and Cargo Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, which resulted in the FAAN officials being taken to hospital amid allegations that they were beaten by the customs staff.
FAAN blamed the Customs officials for attempting to gain access to a restricted area without due identification and clearance, which it said breached security regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. When they were stopped, they felt slighted and decided to attack the FAAN staff.