Tollgate Fees: House Directs Aviation Minister, Others to Exempt Members of Armed Forces

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The House of Representatives has directed the Minister of Aviation to mandate the relevant authorities to exempt Members of the Armed Forces from tollgate and parking fees at airports, seaports and train stations across Nigeria.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance on the, “need to waive tollgate fees in all Nigerian airports for members of the armed forces of Nigeria,” moved by Hon. Abdussammad Dasuki, during plenary yesterday.

Dasuki, noted that it was reported on May 14, 2024, by online and print media that the Minister of Aviation had announced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the cancellation of all exemptions on airport access payments for VIPs in Nigeria due to the huge revenue losses they cause to the federal government.

He also noted that the Minister of Aviation would implement the decision of the FEC by sending out circulars to relevant authorities in a matter of days.

The lawmaker further noted that men and women of the Armed Forces, “honour our nation with the highest form of service and without reservation; keeping us safe from harm, protecting our wealth and territorial integrity, ensuring safe navigation on our territorial waters, protecting our borders including the Gulf of Guinea, Creeks, Sahara Desert and forests, and fighting armed bandits who invade our communities.”

Dasuki added: “It is important to show gratitude by honouring our brothers and sisters who are voluntarily serving under our flag, putting in their active years to keep our nation safe with some losing their lives, and some becoming disabled from the battlefield amidst other effects.”

He stressed that honouring men and women in uniform, and also encouraging fellow citizens to acknowledge their service to the nation is the right step to take as a way to appreciate the immeasurable sacrifices they make.

“Honoring those who fight for our survival, will also inspire our youths to enrol in the military not as a means of escaping the web of unemployment, but as a valuable call to higher service to the nation. Concerned that members of the Armed Forces are subjected to paying for access to our airports where they are also expected to protect citizens and foreigners alike whether or not they are on duty and even while they are passengers themselves.

“Their services though remunerated cannot be quantified especially when the risks to them and their dependents are considered, therefore we should not be hesitant to show them in our little way that we see them and we acknowledge their sacrifices.”

“Unless we are intentional in showing our appreciation to them by extending privileges like the proposed exemption, our Nation would appear to underrate their services and lack knowledge of the value that they bring.”

The House However directed its House Committee on Aviation, to ensure compliance with the directive.

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