- Rejects reintroduction of toll fares
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives wednesday called on the federal government to save the aviation industry and private airlines from imminent collapse caused by the sudden stoppage, discontinuance and suspension of operations by major airlines.
The House expressed worry that domestic with airlines services, maintenance and operational costs denominated in hard currencies, the current volatility in the exchange rate and general economic downturn is threatening their survival.
It therefore directed its Committee on Aviation to conduct a public hearing and discuss with relevant stakeholders to identify the options to mitigate the challenges in the aviation industry.
The resolution followed a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon. Istifanus. Gyang (Plateau PDP) who noted that the private airlines have filled the gap caused by the collapse of the national airline.
“This is further complicated by the numerous charges which the airlines pay to regulatory agencies including FAAN, NCAA, and NAMA,” Gyang added.
The lawmakers also rejected a motion seeking the re-introduction of tolls and charges on federal highways.
The motion introduced by Hon. Francis Uduyok (PDP), argued that the tolls collected would assist the federal government to be able to fund maintenance and construction of inter-state roads.
The lawmaker noted that the usage of the tolls collected should be monitored.
Several lawmakers including Hon. Emmanuel Orker-Jev (Benue APC), Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari (Sokoto APC), Hon. Ahmed Safana (Katsina APC) and Hon. Ayo Omidiran (Osun APC) however argued against the motion.
Hon. Sani Abdu (Bauchi APC) said re-introduction of toll charges on Nigerians who are already experiencing hardships, would be inhuman.
He added that good roads must be provided before tolls can even be considered.
“We do not have roads that should be tolled. If we contract some of these roads in private public partnership, and it must be with a proper agreement, and they must be fantastic roads with all the necessary facilities,” he said.