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Tinubu, Shettima, other VIPs to pay airport, parking fees

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President Bola Tinubu and the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima will now pay airport access toll and parking fees at any of the nation’s airports.

This was as the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by the President approved a memorandum from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development scrapping toll exemptions for all Very Important Persons (VIPs) and government officials using the airports.

The minister, Barrister Festus Keyamo, who announced the development to journalists after Tuesday’s FEC meeting, argued that the government was losing over 82 per cent of the revenue it should have earned from the e-tags that provide access to the airports.

He explained that the memoranda had initially recommended an exemption for the president and the vice president. However, Tinubu overruled the recommendation, insisting that he and the Vice President alongside their aides must pay tolls.

“Our memo says ‘with the exception of the President and the Vice President’. But the President overruled me and said he and the Vice President will pay, he said everybody will pay”, Keyamo revealed.

He lamented that VIPs who have the money to pay tolls are evading payment, leaving the authorities to rely on charges gotten from the poor.

“They don’t pay the access fees. They don’t pay for parking, they don’t pay for essential services at airports, and they are VIPs.

“And I told myself on my team, I said not under my watch. It will not happen”” he said.

Keyamo vowed to end episodes where uniform officers harass airport staff at the gates, assuring citizens that more cameras will be “planted” in strategic positions to capture those culpable.

He said that the Federal Government stands to generate N10 billion annually from tolls, even as it considers a rebate for military veterans.

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