The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved N2.4 billion for the construction of an indoor shooting range for nation’s aviation security.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said the aim is to further train the aviation 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. This 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 said.
The minister said 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 said the council also considered and approved the ratification of the instrument of International Civil Aviation Organisation Treaties.
“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,” he said.
Also speaking, Minister of State for Transportation, Ms Gbemisola Saraki, said the council also approved the purchase and installation of 300 buoys on the River Niger for the inland waterways.
She said the approval, which was in the tune of N581, was a repeat procurement because the first one was done in 2017/2018.
She said the first approval was from Baru to Onitsha while the latest was from Onitsha to Lokoja.
“It is large; this much more; this is 300 bouys; that was 200 bouys; it is to ensure that our waterways are navigable for all the vessels that go through.
“It was important council appreciated the importance of safety of lives and property.
“It is going to be a six months contract that will generate approximately between 100 and 120 direct new jobs and various indirect jobs because you know these buoys float.
“They have to actually cast and have concrete base that they sit on top of; so that is the aspect that is going to generate the new direct employment.’’
“Obviously, it opens up the area; it is part of the programme of the president to have the infrastructure system in Nigeria improved and strengthened because that is how to generate wealth for everybody,’’ she said.