The Federal Government has said dignitaries must now pay toll fare before accessing the nation’s airports.
Before now, those categorised as Very Important Personalities (VIPs) are exempted from paying toll fares.
But speaking on the plan to shore up revenue at tollgates, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said henceforth VIPs, dignitaries, including himself as well as the military officers, would now pay at the airport tollgates.
Keyamo who spoke during a webinar on “Repositioning the aviation sector for revenue generation and growth: Role of Legislation” convened by Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) set a target of N250m monthly for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) tollgate, disclosing that the airport tollgate currently generates N100m monthly.
According to him, investigations showed that many users of the toll gates are exempted from toll with the excuse that they are VIPs.
He said this would be stopped as all VIPs making use of the facility would now be made to pay including himself.
According to him, the government has no plan to impose fresh taxes and charges in the industry but there would be optimisation of revenues through blocking leakages.
He said, “If she read my KPI, she would realise I did not say raise revenue for the Government. That is not the language I used. I used optimising and I used that language advisedly.
“Optimising the revenue generating capacity of the agencies, so that does not mean to raise revenue for the Government.
“For example, in Lagos FAAN in one of the airport gates make about N100m per month, however the capacity is to generate N240m per month.
“When those barricades open they count them so the average is about N240m but why are they doing N100m?
“I am told dignitaries,VIPs, the military are given free stickers and are not paying and I am saying even me at some point should pay.
“That is what it means, that we should optimise revenue generating capacity for the agencies, it doesn’t mean raising revenue for the Government. But at some point you optimise revenue for yourself first.”