25th June 2024
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Tollgate fees : Reps Exempts The Military,To Honour Their Service,Sacrifice To The Nation

The House of Representatives has asked the Ministry of Aviation to exempt members of the Armed Forces from tollgate fees and parking payments in Airports across Nigeria.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had, at its meeting eliminated the exemption of VIPs, including the president and vice president from payment or toll fees at the airport, leading to huge revenue loss to the government.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said by the director of the President and the Federal Executive Council, all Nigerians are expected to pay access or toll fees before accessing the airport.

However, in a resolution following a motion by Abdulsamad Dasuki (PDP, Sokoto), the House also said that members of the armed forces and senior citizens should be given preferential treatment in all public transport stations across the country.

Moving the motion, Dasuki recalled the announcement made by the Minister of Aviation that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has 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 recalled that the minister of aviation has been given the mandate to implement the decision of FEC by sending out circulars to relevant authorities in a matter of days.

According to him, “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.”

He stressed that 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 said: “Honouring these 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 enroll in the military not as a means of escaping the web of unemployment, but as a valuable call to higher service to the nation.

“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.”

He stressed that the services rendered by members of the armed forces though remunerated, cannot be quantified especially when the risks to them and their dependents are considered.

He said: “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.”

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