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Govt To Tackle Begging, Extortion By Airport Officials – Minister

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The Minister of Aviation Festus Keyamo, on Sunday, acknowledged widespread complaints regarding the pervasive begging and extortion at Nigerian international airports.

Addressing the public outcry, Keyamo highlighted the gravity of the situation, emphasizing its detrimental impact on the nation’s image.

“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,” Keyamo stated.

Keyamo clarified that while the agencies involved in these activities are stationed at airports, they do not fall under the direct jurisdiction of the Aviation Ministry.

However, he assured the public of collaborative efforts with other government bodies and agencies responsible for these operations.

“We are working closely with other Ministers, arms of government, and agencies who are responsible for these agencies,” Keyamo affirmed. “A solution is in sight soon.”

The minister said that efforts are coordinated under the National Security Adviser (NSA), who recently convened a crucial meeting on the issue.

“We thank Nigerians for their eternal vigilance on this issue,” Keyamo concluded.

Following Keyamo’s announcement, Nigerians took to social media to express their reactions.

Adewale ‘Damilare, (@dammygtnet), “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.”

Another tweep, Mr Ebony** (@donald_segun), “Whatever practical stem that is agreed upon by the NSA and the concerned ministries and agencies heads should permanently put a stop to the embarrassment called begging and extortion at our airports.”

“This has been over three decades problem going back to during the Babangida military regime. CNN carried out a secret investigation at our Lagos international airport bribery scandal among airport and security officials and aired it, that was a national embarrassment go and verify it,”DJFREAKY4NewNigeria (@DjfreakyDaboss) said.

“Till date no solution to that menace so I’m not sure you too have a solution because the top is roten. Good luck!””

Begging and extortion by security personnel and other officials at Nigerian airports typically involve soliciting money from travelers in exchange for expedited processing or to circumvent bureaucratic delays.

Despite sporadic crackdowns and promises of reform by authorities over the years, these issues persist.

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