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Fashola appeals to FG to maintain 117 roads in Lagos

By on September 12, 2013

Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Thursday urged the Federal Government to maintain 117 federal roads in the state.

He spoke in Ikeja at a stakeholders’ forum on the collection of wharf landing fees introduced in 2002 by the state government.

Fashola said a good number of federal roads in the state were in deplorable state.

The governor said the administration had spent about N50 billion on the rehabilitation of some of the federal roads.

He added that the Federal Government had yet to refund the money in spite of its acknowledgement of repairs carried out by the state.

“We intervene in federal roads because they will disrupt economic activities in the state if we leave them in a state of disrepair.

“One can imagine the economic impact of watching Apapa/Oshodi Expressway to be completely unmotorable.

“The state government has so far spent N50 billion on the maintenance of federal roads in the state and we are yet to get a refund,” he said.

Fashola explained that the introduction of wharf landing charges on cargoes being moved within the state was not to tax freight forwarders arbitrarily.

According to him, the tax will be used to provide infrastructure that will help the businesses of freight forwarders.

He noted that the weight of the trucks on the roads was responsible for their deplorable state and promised that the revenue from wharf landing fees would be used to maintain the roads.

“Stakeholders should support the state government on the tax by paying it promptly to the appropriate authorities.’’

Also speaking, Mr Ade Ipaye, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, noted that the 1999 constitution empowered the state to impose tax on road users.

A representative of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Chimezie Anyafolo, promised that members would support the government by ensuring prompt payment.

He urged the government to check extortion of truck drivers by those he called unscrupulous officials. (NAN)