Sirika Says No More VIP Considerations When Flights Resume

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika revealed last night that as flight resumption begins on Monday, aides of VIP passengers would henceforth be stopped from accessing the terminal.

Sirika explained that airport officials henceforth have the right to stop every VIP accessing the terminal with his aides, adding that, “The only VIP we cannot stop is Mr. President and he doesn’t use our terminal.”

The minister spoke last night at the virtual stakeholders’ meeting at which representatives of all airlines and allied service providers where in attendance. At the meeting, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said any airline or aviation service provider that failed to fulfill the requirements set by the regulatory agency would not be approved to operate.

Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, afterward revealed that the agency would on Friday (today) begin to get approval to start flights. Sirika announced on Wednesday that domestic flights would commence on Monday, July 8 with Lagos and Abuja airports. The meeting reviewed the readiness and preparedness of the industry to restart on Monday.

Sirika said that it was no longer business as usual, in response to the issue concerning the VIP aides, saying all VIPs were expected to carry their own bag by themselves. Sirika disclosed further that he had written to inform all the ministers, heads of government parastatals and agencies, traditional rulers, chief executives of banks, and update them on the new protocols being put in place.

“It is no longer business as usual. There is no more VIP consideration at the airport. Anytime I’m traveling, I have always carried my bag by myself,” he said.

Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Capt. Rabiu Yadudu said that close circuit television (CCTV) had been installed by the authorities in all areas of the airports to ensure safety and security and enforce compliance with all the protocols.


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