Following recent media reports on the incidence of vehicle vandalism at the car park of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, the management of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) visited the multi-level parking facility.
The team, led by Acting Director General Mr. Michael Ohiani and which included the Head, Monitoring and Compliance, Mallam Ahmed Abdulrazaq and the Head of Legal and Governance Mrs. Linda Amego, visited the facility which was described in some reports as ‘a den of thieves’ in view of three alleged incidents that took place in the car park during the last week of December 2021.
The visit was a joint monitoring inspection by the ICRC and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to assess the safety situation of vehicles parked by the general public.
Mr Sadiku Abdulkadir Rafindadi, Director of Commercial and Business Development, led the FAAN delegation on behalf of the Managing Director, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.
Under the aegis of the Presidency, the ICRC, which has as part of its responsibilities, ensuring regulatory compliance in all Public Private Partnership (PPP) transactions, undertook the visit for a first-hand assessment and to seek solutions.
However, the visit to the facility revealed that only one incident had been reported, in which case the victim, whose Lexus GX 460 was vandalized, had been compensated and the missing vehicle accessories replaced.
Ohiani who was taken on a tour of the multi-level parking facility by the concessionaire Seymour Aviation Limited, stressed that because car parking service was the primary service being provided by the concessionaire at a fee, vehicles could not be said to be ‘Parked at Owners’ Risk’, as claimed.
“If I park my car it is not at my own risk, provided I pay – if I come here and I park and I do not pay, it is a different ball game.
“I am very happy to know that you have an active insurance policy,” the DG added.
The Commission used the opportunity to advise the concessionaire on investing in the Parking Guidance System (PGS), a technology where car owners upon making payment, are allotted specific slots on a particular floor with the assistance of smart cameras.
He charged the airport authority as well as the concessionaire to expand the CCTV camera coverage to cover blind spots, and also increase the number of persons on physical surveillance.
Responding to questions from the ICRC Ag. DG, the representative of FAAN, Rafindadi, said that some of the news or stories peddled about the airport were not a true reflection of the situation on the ground.
He intimated the ICRC DG that following the incident, an emergency meeting was held and certain decisions reached to curb future occurrences.
Some of the recommendations from the meeting included: the expansion of smart CCTV coverage at the car park to cover blind spots, connection of the camera feeds to the MMA International Terminal 2 CCTV network and improvement of physical surveillance as well as increasing the number of security personnel at the facility.
Other measures include: Intelligence sharing with airport security, prompt reportage of incidents at the car park, addressing other pending cases of vehicle vandalism, among others.
Also speaking, Mr. Francis Ikenga, MD/CEO of Seymour Aviation Limited, the concessionaire, said that there was a subsisting insurance policy that covered all those who use the car park, reiterating that the victim of the reported incident had already been compensated and the vandalized vehicle parts replaced.
He said that the car park focuses mainly on safety, security and revenue, pointing out that if safety and security are not met, then revenue will not be taken.
He commended the ICRC for the good work being done, adding that if sustained, many Nigerians will reap the benefits.
He thanked Ohiani and his team for the useful advice on how to improve security at the facility, pledging that the suggestions will be implemented.