Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said on Wednesday that many of the scanners at the country’s airports were not functioning.
Her disclosure came just as the Airport Chief of Security at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, El-Yakub Lamir, said the scanners were not configured for drug detection.
They made the revelations at the Senate while making submissions before the Ad hoc committee set up by the Senate to look into circumstances that led to the arrest of Zainab Aliyu in Saudi Arabia last year over alleged drug trafficking.
Dabiri–Erewa, who is also Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, accused Egypt and Ethiopian Airlines of running drug cartels at Nigeria’s airports.
She said Aliyu’s ordeal in Saudi Arabia before the intervention of the Federal Government of Nigeria, which led to her release, was caused by a drug cartel collaborating with officials of the two airlines.
She said, “We have other foreign and local airlines operating at our Airports, but the Egyptian and Ethiopian airlines have drug cartels operating at our international airports.”
When asked by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South), about the condition of the scanners, Lamir said the scanners at the Aminu Kano International Airport in particular were not configured to detect drugs.
He said that there were 15 security men involved in checking luggage at the point of entry and exit but that the member had been reduced due to public complaints.
A representative of the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Mustapha Abdallah, also disclosed that their German trained sniffer dogs were few in number.