â¢ FAAN, dealer trade blames safety
â¢ âThe vehicles are packed at the owner’s own riskâ, the operator of the installation pushes back
For the third time in less than a week, the Seymour Aviation multi-level car park at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, recorded multiple vehicle vandalism at the paid facility.
Motorists and travelers have complained of forced entry into parked cars, removal of car accessories and personal effects, coupled with harassment from users. Most worrying is that the operator of the state-of-the-art six-storey facility is also disabled.
A driver, Kehinde Emiola, had parked in the establishment on Monday while waiting for his principal to return around noon. About 30 minutes later, he said, he picked up the Highlander jeep and picked his boss.
âIt was my boss who noticed that one of the exterior mirrors and the taillight were missing. I was totally in shock because I had never seen anything like it before. Some people have said that things like this are happening in the parking lot now, âEmiola said.
The managing director of a company on Victoria Island in Lagos also had a similar experience a few days before Christmas.
Together with his driver, he had gone to Lagos International Airport to pick up family members arriving for the Christmas holidays. âAt 2:30 pm we entered the multi-storey parking lot. We have noted that this is the official FAAN designated parking lot, although they claim it is under concession.
âAround 4:00 pm, the driver went to pay the parking fees to get out of the garage to pick up the arriving guests. When he returned to the car, both mirrors had been stolen. They had ripped off the two mirrors of the Lexus 460 SUV.
âComplaining to the FAAN (TANGO) security office, they summoned the garage supervisor, who said they had a sign that the cars were ‘parked at owner’s risk,’ therefore they are not responsible. .
âThe airport parking lot at Murtala Muhammed International Airport is operated by a thieves union. You (the general public) will need to send two people and let one person protect your car. Don’t leave your cars alone there. Please send to warn others, especially this Christmas time. This is how low we are, âhe said, in a social media post.
When The Guardian visited the facility yesterday, it was a hive of activity, with all kinds of people flocking around the entrance and downstairs.
A Bureau de Change operator told the Guardian that the theft complaint has become an almost daily affair and has overtaken facility officials.
He observed that when the facility began operations, it had a complement of closed-circuit cameras and security guards who deterred thieving touts and unraveled criminal attempts.
âBut the cameras have stopped working and are unable to follow movement. The old security guards are now busy towing wrapped vehicles anywhere outside the parking lot so they can generate more money. Even we who trade in currencies are looking over our shoulders because bad boys are everywhere. The FAAN is aware of this situation but it is not ready to face it â, affirmed the operator.
The parking lot, constructed at an estimated cost of 8 billion naira, is a partnership between Seymour Aviation Limited and FAAN and began operations in October 2017. As part of the build, operate and transfer agreement, Seymour Aviation has to manage the 1,300 car parks spread across the six-level structure for 30 years.
The Guardian has learned that controversy is already brewing over the operating agreement, which has turned the facility into a den of thieves.
Responding to inquiries, a facility official, who requested anonymity, said management was not responsible for the security of the facility.
He said that in addition to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) which manages all aviation safety, “we have made it clear that cars are parked at the owner’s risk.”
âSo if you have a complaint, please bring it to FAAN,â he said.
Lagos airport manager Victoria Shin-aba denied the operator’s request. She said no! The security of the parking lot is Seymour’s responsibility, while FAAN takes care of the security of the entire airport, âShin-aba replied.
She added, however, that “we are working with them (Seymour) on measures that will end it.”
The worrying development of the car park, which is dedicated to serving the country’s busiest port of entry, has also raised concerns about the safety of travelers crossing the corridor.
Former Lagos airport commander in the 1990s Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd) said there were more potential threats and security breaches around the airport than the compromised parking.
Ojikutu, who is an aviation safety consultant, said the situation with tankers parked around the airport is the most dangerous one that has persisted more than 20 years since the fuel supply pipeline ruptured and that tankers were used to connect Ejigbo’s fuel supply to the airport. .
He said: âAny operator within the airport must (according to civil aviation rules) have a safety program for their operation. Has the company holding the concession to operate the car park obtained safety approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for its operation?
âSecond, there are houses behind the airport perimeter fences that have exceeded standard tolerance safety limits for fences. Some of these houses use the fences as part of their construction or as fences for their houses as well. This is why incursions into the airport and taxiing planes are commonplace.
âThere is also a need for FAAN security to conduct random checks on all those carrying a service card (ODC) in airport security check areas in order to catch unauthorized persons, especially those who have been out of the services of their employers but still carry ID cards and ODC airports, âOjikutu said.