The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in collaboration with security agencies, have intensified effort to clampdown on touting at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr Saleh Dunoma, who stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Friday, warned unauthorised persons to stay away from the airport or risk jail.
Dunoma said that measures had been put in place to ensure that everyone operating in the airport stayed within his or her designated area.
He added that adequate signage had been provided at the old and new terminals in addition to the security personnel to guide travellers, adding that no passenger should need assistance from unauthorised persons.
According to him, some persons have been arrested, investigated and charged to court in recent time, but we now have a situation where some unauthorised persons are now fighting back by planting fake stories about touting.
“We have cowed touting and there are plans in place, and we are totally in control of touting at the airport because of the grand plan. We have started implementing it.
“Actually, there is no resurgence of touting rather there is a reduction in their activities but we now have a situation where touts are doing their campaign by planting fake stories.
“But, certainly we are winning because we have our own campaign and it is bad business for them already.
“Whatever pictures you are seeing are fake in order to discredit our effort, but we are in control,” he said.
The FAAN boss also travellers to ensure that they would only transact any form of business inside the terminal and not outside to avoid being extorted.
He explained that the new terminal was well laid out in such a way that passengers would not have reasons to be confused as to how to move, adding that there were also information desks where inquiries could be made easily.
“My message to those touts is that the law will catch up with them and they will be punished and I want to appeal to passengers also that they should not encourage anybody to assist them in the airport.
“The new terminal does not require any assistance; it is well laid out, it is simple and there are signage and there are two information desks in case you need any information.
“Then, we have FAAN uniform people all over the places that passengers can seek assistance from,” he added.
Also speaking to NAN, Mr Sani Mahmud, Regional General Manager, North Central, FAAN, said that some persons had been apprehended and prosecuted by the airport security team in recent time.
Mahmud, who is also Airport Manager, NAIA, said that nine persons had been apprehended since the beginning of the 2019, adding that they included hawkers, illegal cab operators and touts.
“Three had their cases transferred; six were minors and were detained and later released, but their items were destroyed.
“We are not taking chances and at the same time, we are aware that some taxi operators whose monopoly had been broken are peddling falsehood to discredit FAAN at all cost.
“Security has been beefed up around the airport and we are ready for them,” he said.