Nigerian President and VP to Pay Airport Tolls, Ending VIP Exemptions

The Nigerian Federal Executive Council has abolished airport tollgate fee exemptions for all users, including President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, to address a significant revenue loss of 82% due to VIP exemptions, aiming to recover billions in lost revenue and promote financial equity and transparency in governance." This description focuses on the primary topic of the article (abolition of airport tollgate fee exemptions), the main entities involved (Nigerian Federal Executive Council, President Bola Tinubu, and Vice President Kashim Shettima), the context (airport tollgates in Nigeria), and the significant action and consequence (recovery of lost revenue and promotion of financial equity and transparency). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as a scene depicting an airport tollgate with a "no exemption" sign or a graphic illustrating the revenue loss and recovery.

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Nigerian President and VP to Pay Airport Tolls, Ending VIP Exemptions

Nigerian President and VP to Pay Airport Tolls, Ending VIP Exemptions

In a significant move towards financial equity, the Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the abolition of airport tollgate fee exemptions for all users, including President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima. The decision, announced by Minister of Aviation Festus Keyamo after Tuesday's FEC meeting, aims to address the substantial revenue loss of 82% due to e-tag exemptions granted to Very Important Persons (VIPs).

Why this matters: This move towards financial equity sets a precedent for accountability and transparency in governance, potentially inspiring similar reforms in other sectors. By ending VIP exemptions, the Nigerian government can recover significant revenue and allocate it towards more pressing public needs.

Keyamo revealed that the government had been losing over N10 billion annually from airport tollgates, with only 18% of e-tags being sold while 82% were given out free of charge to VIPs. In one access gate alone, monthly revenue was less than N100 million, far below the expected N250-260 million. "No more exemption... If this tradition has been existing for years, I will not allow it to happen. Because it is inconceivable that in our country it is the VIPs that don't pay for services but it is the poor men that pay for services," Keyamo stated emphatically.

The original memorandum had prescribed an exemption for the President and Vice President, but President Tinubu overruled it, insisting that he, Vice President Shettima, and their convoys must also pay the access fees. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) will send a service-wide circular informing all concerned of the exemption cancellation, followed by another memorandum from the Ministry of Aviation to ensure implementation.

In addition to the tollgate fee decision, the FEC approved the procurement of aircraft recovery equipment worth N4.2 billion, expected to be completed within 12 months. This equipment will aid in responding to incidents of aircraft breakdowns on runways. Keyamo also expressed concern over uniformed officers harassing government staff at airports and plans to install cameras to capture such incidents.

The Nigerian government's decision to end airport tollgate exemptions for VIPs, including the President and Vice President, marks a significant step towards financial equity and transparency. With the potential to recover billions in lost revenue, this move underscores the administration's commitment to fair and equal treatment for all citizens, regardless of status. As Minister Keyamo emphasized, "It is inconceivable that in our country, it is the VIPs that don't pay for services, but it is the poor men that pay for services. "

Key Takeaways

  • Nigeria's FEC abolishes airport tollgate fee exemptions for all users, including President and VP.
  • Move aims to address 82% revenue loss due to VIP exemptions, worth over N10 billion annually.
  • President Tinubu overruled exemption for himself and VP, insisting they pay access fees.
  • FEC approves procurement of aircraft recovery equipment worth N4.2 billion.
  • Cameras to be installed to monitor and prevent harassment of government staff by uniformed officers.