Aviation auditors begin security audits of Lagos, Abuja airports

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Melvin Onwubuke


A team of auditors from the International Civil Aviation Organisation has landed in Abuja to begin the 2024 ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme employing the Continuous Monitoring Approach at the Lagos and Abuja airports starting today, March 11, 2024.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Michael Achimugu, and shared on the Authority’s official X account on Monday.

The statement indicated that the Universal Security Audit Programme, Continuous Monitoring Approach will be carried out for two weeks, ending on March 22, 2024. It will encompass several key areas: Inflight Security, Passenger and Baggage Security, Acts of Unlawful Interference, Facilitation, Legislation, Training, Quality Control Function, Operations, and Cargo, Mail, and Catering.

A four-member team led by Callum Vine, with James Mabala, Tebogo Mphela, and Alagie Jeng as the other members, will carry out airport security audits.

The team was welcomed by the Minister of Aviation and Aviation Development, Festus Keyamo, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, and highlighted the Universal Security Audit Programme as an important initiative to maintain strict safety standards in the aviation sector of Nigeria.

He pointed out that Nigeria is determined to strengthen its security measures against emerging threats and vulnerabilities through detailed assessments, in-depth evaluations, and strong partnerships.

The Acting Director General of Civil Aviation in Nigeria, Capt. Chris Ona Najomo greeted the ICAO auditors for the 2024 Universal Security Audit Programme audit. He described the initiative’s goal to bolster global aviation security by auditing and ongoing monitoring of member states’ aviation security performance, focusing on the effective implementation of essential elements in the states’ aviation security oversight systems to gauge their sustainability.

Capt. Najomo has set out further objectives, such as the evaluation of whether states comply with ICAO safety standards, specifically Annex 9 and 17 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

According to him, the selected sites for the verification of the implementation of security measures are Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

Expressing optimism, he anticipated that Nigeria’s advancements in aviation security would yield a higher rating than in the previous audit, citing the government’s commitment to enhancing air transport safety and efficiency. Capt. Najomo committed to offering the necessary support and cooperation to facilitate a seamless audit.

He mentioned the recent Aviation Security Mock Audit by the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization at the Lagos and Abuja airports, conducted from March 4 to 7, 2024, as part of the preparations to ensure Nigeria’s success in the upcoming Universal Security Audit Programme, Continuous Monitoring Approach exercise, last conducted in 2015.

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