Airport protocol concern: Mr Olumide Ohunayo, Assistant Secretary-General, Aviation Round Table (ART) has urged the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development to back the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in its efforts to restore equity at the airports.
Ohunayo spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, in Lagos.
He was speaking against the backdrop of concerns raised by the Managing Director of FAAN, Mrs Olubunmi Kuku, on the proliferation of protocol services by personnel of various agencies at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The MD had said that this should be stopped immediately as it contravened the Executive Order 001 of 2017 of the Federal Government.
She said it also undermined the protocol activities of the FAAN Protocol Unit and that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Kuku stressed that the MFA had the sole responsibility of attending to designated government officials and urged agencies to liaise with them when they need to facilitate their Principals/Officials.
The MD said that the Passenger Support Service (PSS) of FAAN handled corporate organizations, as the services were being paid for.
Reacting, Ohunayo said that the minister, Mr Fetus Keyamo, should back Kuku, by passing the information to his fellow ministers.
He said that all agencies should be asked to revert to the status quo, but this should start with the withdrawal of all On-Duty-Cards (ODC), to ensure equity at the airports.
“The FAAN MD has made her position known but she needs the power and backing of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.
”The minister can pass the information to other ministers in the Federal Executive Council (FEC); thereafter, call back those ODCs from all agencies.
“Every passenger must respect protocols at the airport; until after you cross the immigration desk, you must follow the process no matter who you are.
“Yet, people at the foot of the aircraft begin to say they are VIPs so that they can override the protocols.
“The way to go is to first, withdraw all ODCs from all ministries, and then ask to revert to status quo,” he said.
Ohunayo said that, although the ODC was issued by FAAN, they could still be stopped at the different counters at the international airports.
He said that FAAN should approach higher authorities in the quest to improve the situation at the airports because there were too many facilitators and delayed flight scenarios, which should not be.