FG generates N1trn from Lagos without maintaining roads –Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday flayed the Federal Government for negligence of the state.
 Fashola flayed the Federal Government for generating over N1trillion from the Tin Can ports in Apapa without maintaining any of the roads that enable it to achieve the feat.

Fashola claimed that the state had spent over N50 billion on the rehabilitation of 117 federal roads across the state, saying the Federal Government only acknowledged the effort, but yet to refund the money.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on Wharf Landing Fee Collection Authority held at the Adeyemei Bero Auditorium at Alausa, Ikeja, the governor questioned the Federal Government’s rationale for generating such huge amount of money from Lagos without giving corresponding attention to facilities that enable it to earn the whopping sum. He said: “Last year alone, between January and June, over N1 trillion was realised from the Tin Can ports, Apapa.
The money was taken out through the roads in Lagos and distributed across to those states which have no business with shipping and port operations and which don’t face the pain. This is the burden that we bear.
Let’s take this to the issue of road maintenance in the state. “Federal roads, state and local government roads, do you really know the number? I will share it with you. In the entire Lagos State, there are only about 117 federal roads. There are 3,028 state roads and there are 6, 415 local government roads.

So, whose roads are you really using? The entire Funsho Williams Road belongs to the state government. Ordinarily, the way we rebuild the road in 2010, it shouldn’t demand repair until 2020. But every two years, we commission construction companies to repair the road in order to serve its required demand.

If we hadn’t done that, the road would have towed the line of Apapa- Oshodi Expressway. “Even for the 171 Federal Government roads in the state, the state government has spend over N50 billions in maintaining them.

All we get is acknowledgement, but no one has refunded the money. So, which government is really serving you? Is it the one that is collecting the money and taking it out? Why haven’t they held this kind of town hall meeting with you?” Fashola urged the stakeholders to hold the Federal Government accountable for the deplorable state of the roads in the state.
On his part, the Chairman of the Wharf Landing Fee Collection Authority, Alhaji Ademola Kekere Ekun, said the establishment of the fee collection authority had addressed extortion of the maritime stakeholders by touts who hitherto collect their unsubstantiated charges from different local government areas.

Earlier in his remarks, the Lagos State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaiye, described the Wharf Landing Fee as statutory fee chargeable on any consignment brought into the country.

Ipaiye, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant on Justice Sector Reform, Lanre Akinsola, said that Wharf Landing was in consonant with provision of Nigerian law as regards Maritime, Shipping, Navigation and Customs and Excise.
He said the Joint Tax Board and the Federal Ministry of Finance approved the collection in 2001 while the collection started in 2002, adding that the State House of Assembly also passed a law to the effect.

National Mirror
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