The Federal Government Friday disclosed that it has commenced the procurement of arms for Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said this in Abuja during the graduation ceremony of 35 AVSEC personnel who underwent Counter Terrorism Training organized by the United Nations.
The 35 graduands who are master trainers would train aviation security experts in two training centers that will be established in Lagos and Zaria.
The training will afford them opportunity to deliver and sustain high standard of aviation security screening across Nigeria’s civil aviation infrastructure.
On why they need to carry arms, the minister gave an instance where Turkish airline passengers took to the tarmac to protest their luggage that was left in Istanbul.
On the carrying of arms by AVSEC personnel, Sirika said: “I wrote a memo to President Buhari and also informed members of the Council that I want to reorganize aviation security and make them arms bearing wing of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
“The passengers took to the tarmac because we have a very weak and incapacitated Aviation security. AVSEC personnel’s mind and soul are strong enough but they have not been given the equipment that would support them to discharge their duties.
“They will be civil, very harmless, they won’t interfere with any process, they would be at the background but they would be fully ready and alert to respond to any emergency at the airport.
On the procurement of arms, Sirika said: “We have already commenced the process of procuring arms and we are putting structures in place.
“You know it is not just about giving arms to personnel and it’s use, the personnel has to be selected, has to be the right person, he has to have the right psychology and he must master the arts and signs of use of weapons, he has to understand that he is a civil Force and learn to use arms at the right. It is not an easy thing but we will get it done.”