By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – The Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu on Wednesday approved N2.4 billion for the construction of an indoor shooting range for nation’s aviation security.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this when he briefed State House Correspondents at the end of the Council’s meeting held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the aim is to further train the security personnel, who have obtained Presidential approval to start carrying arms, for improved security in the nation’s airports.
“Today, in council two memoranda were considered for aviation. The first is construction of indoor shooting range for aviation security.
“Recall some time ago Mr President in conformity with the Act established Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), had approved that aviation security carry arms for improved security.
“You also recall that these aviation personnel were trained and still receiving training and profiling and all things that will make them efficient at the DSS and other sister organisations.
“And adding to that, they need tools and equipment to play the role they ought to play to keep us safe and secure.
“So, a contract was awarded to Messrs Donteck, it is a Nigerian in an association with another company called Action Targets of the US and the total contract sum is N2.43 billion,’’ he added.
Sirika further disclosed that the shooting range project was in line with suggestions and recommendations by UN counter terrorism unit and also the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He also revealed that the Council considered and approved the ratification of the instrument of International Civil Aviation Organisation Treaties.
He said: “They are five in number, there is the protocol to amend the convention for the separation of unlawful seizure of aircraft, which is called The Hague Convention of 1970.
“The other one is protocol to amend the convention for the separation of unlawful acts against safety of civil aviation which is the Montréal Convention of 1971.
“Another one is the protocol to amend the convention on offences and certain other acts committed on board aircraft. This one also is called the Montréal Protocol of 2014.
“The fourth one is protocol to amend Article 50 (a) of the convention on International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, called the Chicago Convention of December 1944.
“The fifth one is the protocol to amend Article 56 of the Convention of International Civil Aviation Organisation, the ICAO Convention, Dec. 1944 at Montreal.’’
According to him, the significance of all of these is to improve safety and security within and outside the aviation system.