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We will address begging in our airports- Keyamo



We will address begging in our airports- Keyamo

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Economy, Festus Keyamo, has disclosed that the federal government would enforce sanctions against personnel at international airports who resort to begging.


Keyamo said to address the begging menace, the office of the National Security Adviser will be involved, citing that most of the airport personnel begging travelers for bribes and tips belong to security forces.


Keyamo said the issue of begging by airport personnel across Nigeria has continued to give the country a bad image.


Responding to outcries by Nigerians, he said, “I have received several complaints about the menace of begging and extortion at our International airports by a few unscrupulous persons who give all of us a bad image. My phones are beeping every minute with messages about this from well-meaning Nigerians.”


He added that “most of the agencies involved in this menace are not under the control of the Aviation Ministry, though they are stationed at our airports. However, I have been working closely with other Ministers, arms of government and agencies who are responsible for these agencies and a solution is in sight soon.


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“We are all working under the coordination of the National Security Adviser who called a meeting a few days ago on this issue and we shall soon unveil practical steps being taken to stem this ugly tide. We thank Nigerians for their eternal vigilance on this issue.”


For Adewale Damilare, an international traveler, “If this is solved, the majority of the issues being faced in our international airports will go. Some will even want to punish you for not parting with your money. It is really disturbing. Almost every point you reach, na so so begging begging.”


While the Minister of Aviation pledged to arrest the begging menace in Nigeria airports, Nigerians have shared that airport personnel charge them up to N2000 before they could be allowed to pick up their relatives at the arrival terminal.


Kehinde Abiodun, an X user wrote, “Honorable minister Festus Keyamo, FAAN is charging us N2000 access fee just to pick up our relatives from the arrival terminal at MM International Airport. Please look into this as well. It is extortion.”


Also, Abdul Abubakar Abdul, an X user disclosed that he has been harassed and embarrassed several times by airport personnel because of the N2000 charged by airport personnel before he could pick up his relatives.


Abubakar narrated, “I have been harassed and embarrassed several times trying to pick up my relatives simply because I use Toyota corolla. They assume that all Corolla users are bolt and Uber users who are confined in one place to pay 2,050 to pick up people at the airport.”


Some Nigerians confirmed that airport personnel delay passengers who fail to pay bribes to the point of losing their flights. “These people delay you to the point of missing your flights. You become stressed and vulnerable to the level of conceding,” Rotimi Victor Lawal recounted.