The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) yesterday lambasted the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for failing to improve on the fortunes of the maritime industry and for the deteriorating state of the port access roads since assumption of office.
ANLCA National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, while speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY against the backdrop of the move by the federal government to order the Lagos State Government to refund all monies collected as Wharf Landing Fee, said rather than dissipate energy on “an insignificant amount collected for the fee, the government should focus attention on its own responsibility of fixing all the federal roads including Apapa which have been abandoned”.
Shittu accused the Transportation Minister of being lackadaisical towards the development of the maritime sector.
He said, “If the Minister of Transportation is a man who cares for the sector; at the Federal Executive Council, there would have been emergency fund to repair the road. Like all Ministers of Transport, they are more interested in what they can get from the parastatals.
“See the way the roads are and he has come there several times and he is calling himself a grade A Minister, and cargoes are falling and people are dying. For that one alone, he has failed. This is the road where government made all their money. Why are they stabbing the chicken that is laying the eggs?”
Shittu argued that money collected by the Lagos State Government under the Wharf Landing Fees Act should not be of interest to the Federal Government since the collection is being carried out outside the port.
He said while the Federal Government has abandoned the road, palliative repairs done with the monies that have accrued through the Wharf Landing Fee by the Lagos State Government should be commended and given all necessary support to fix other parts of the roads.
“Who has been maintaining the port access road? That road belongs to the Federal Government and abandoned. All the roads within Apapa that is being utilised by all the trucks bringing in and taking goods into the port are owned by Lagos State Government and through the local government, the Lagos State Government has been maintaining the roads and even building new roads.
“Wharf Landing Fee is too an infinitesimal amount for the Federal Government to start breaking their head over. That should not take their attention as far as I am concerned provided the money is being utilised for maintaining of roads which we are seeing,” he added.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.