By Dipo Olowookere
Senate Committee on Aviation has directed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to review toll collection system at airports in the country.
The Senate disclosed that it gave this order because of constraint experienced when gaining access into the airports.
The committee said it was wrong for airport staffers to be forced to pay tolls daily, directing FAAN to come up with a flexible tolling system to guarantee vehicles conveying passengers not being delayed unnecessarily at the toll gates.
The Senate committee, during a meeting with FAAN and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Lagos, said it had received too many complaints from passengers, who claimed they have had to miss their flights all because of tolling issues.
Vice Chairman of the committee, Mr Bala Na’allah, said at the meeting that, “All of you travel abroad and you know that there are short stay and long parking.
“And if you are dropping off passenger, you don’t pay. But that is not even the issue. The issue is that passengers will be on a very long queue to have access to the gate of the airports to pay while their aircraft are taxing out.
“Every five minutes in aviation is very important. If I take off now (from Lagos), in five minutes I’m almost around Abeokuta. That five minutes that you delay them to pay, is causing some passengers their flights, some of which are very critical.
“Once someone leaves his house to go somewhere, even for a party, it is to satisfy himself. You must do everything humanly possible to make him achieve that so that you can have peace with him.”
In his response, Managing Director of FAAN, Mr Saleh Dunoma, promised to address the issues raised by the lawmakers.
At major airports in Nigeria, motorists are forced to pay tolls ranging from N300 to N600 to access the airports’ vicinity irrespective of its purpose or duration of stay.
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