Tinubu approves new visa regime, toll payment for president, vice

The Federal Executive Council, presided by President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday approved memos from the Ministries of Aviation, Communications, Power, FCT and Works.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this at the end of the meeting in Abuja, adding that the Ministry of Interior’s memo on reviewing the new visa regime was also approved.

Mr Idris said the new visa regime would address the lacuna and challenges faced by citizens and foreign investors entering and leaving the country.

He said the new visa process would be completely online, with background security checks of applicants completed within 48 hours, and that this would commence in the next four weeks.

Minister of Aviation. Festus Keyamo, disclosed the ministry’s approval to involve the withdrawal of exemption of payment of tickets by some highly placed Nigerians at the nation’s airports.

He said the former system, which caused revenue loss, had been bought into by the president and the vice president, respectively.

‘’The ministry has been losing huge revenue that ordinarily should not be. With the new system, everybody entering the nation’s airports must pay the toll gate fees. The president and vice-president have already agreed to be part of those that would pay.” he said.

Regarding the recurrent runway incidents, Mr Keyamo said the ministry would continue to ensure adherence to proper regulation while maintaining supervision under him.

‘’There is no way I will allow the safety of air passengers to be jeopardised under my watch. Any airline consistently found wanting in this issue will be sanctioned appropriately, as in the case of Dana Airlines,” said Mr Keyamo.

The Minister of Communication, Bosun Tijani, said a special purpose vehicle would be set up to construct 90,000 fibre cables across the country in the next three years to improve internet service and its cost.

The new visa process would be completely online, with background security checks of applicants completed within 48 hours, and that this would commence in the next four weeks.

Other approvals

Also, Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu, said the council approved the provision of earthing, reactor, and emergency equipment for the sector to increase power generation, transmission, and distribution in the country.

Mr Adelabu said these contracts are expected to strengthen power sector reforms, reduce downtime, and increase Nigerians’ access to electricity.

He said the contract would also address the decay in infrastructure in the power sector, which had been the bane of low power distribution and transmission over time.

He said the council also approved the ministry’s initiative to use complementary energy sources like solar and wind to improve the efficiency of the national grid.

He said solar would continue to be used in the sunny parts of the country while wind energy would be integrated in the southern coastal parts.

The FCT Minister of State, Mariya Mahmoud, disclosed that the council approved three memos on the development of bus terminals, the building of the Appeal Court, and the operation and maintenance of street light generators in the territory.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, also disclosed council approval of 12 memos regarding the redesign and continuation of road projects across the country, adding that the projects underwent adequate bidding and followed due process.

Mr Umahi said the contract for the Lagos-Calabar was made through due process contrary to some reports claiming otherwise, adding that the government was concerned about having value for all funds allocated for any project.

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, said the government would continue to prioritise the nation’s infrastructural needs to ensure its future development and improve citizens’ living standards.

Mr Edun said the government would leverage the huge funds under the pension scheme, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, insurance and other financial options to resuscitate the sector and make housing more accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens at a low interest rate. (NAN)

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