Ajayi Ojotemile (Public Servant)
Considering what we have heard so far, if Lagos State Government will continue with the changes done on our roads and other locations within and outside the port environment, the idea is welcomed. We want value for the charges meant to be paid, because it’s our hard earned money.
They should be able to stand their grounds as oppositions will come from people in and outside the state or even from the Federal Government querying the need for the collection of the fees, but if Lagos State Government is silent and their deeds speak for them, I think its reasonable enough, and it will serve as a proof that the amount collected is well utilized.
Lagos state government has really tried, so I think we should support with the little that they request from port users so that our state can be a real mega city in all spheres.
K.K Olayiwola (Task Force Coordinator, ANCLA)
Yes, I support the collection because the ports users in Lagos directly or indirectly make use of our roads. So, they should compensate the state government by paying the fees. States in the Niger Delta are collecting fees from oil companies that are operating in their states.
With the performance of Gov. Fashola, the money will be well utilized as it will give good roads and other amenities for those of us that reside in Lagos.
Anybody working Apapa will know for sure that though they have not commenced the collection, more should be expected once it starts because the governor knows what he is doing.
Segun Alabi (Agent)
I am in support of the collection, but with a note of caution; the timing is very wrong. This is a time when cost of general cargo landing and that of shipping companies are high.
I will suggest that they live it for now pending when the time federal government will resolve the controversies over high port charges by terminal operators and shipping companies.
Olabode Sulymon (Agent)
It’s a very good idea coming from the Lagos State government because the containers pass through Lagos roads.
The trucks carrying the containers generate dangerous fumes which cause pollution to the environment thereby making people within the state to be prone to illness. These people in turn will patronize the general hospitals in the states, where do we think the government generates money to get equipment and drugs used in the hospitals?
Who says the money generated from the collections can’t buy drugs or pay salaries of workers, even going to the present strike affecting our children’s education which could have been supported by the state government? The money that comes in will be used to maintain our roads in Lagos. It’s a well deserved and we all must support it.
Ignatius Nweke (AD, PR, Nigerian Shippers Council)
No, this is double taxation on the part of the payers. It is capable of institutionalizing anarchy in the system as other states might adopt same.
Boniface Chukwu (Importer)
Its okay if we see what they are doing with the money, because there had been cases where extortion ahs been on the rise by agencies, terminal operators and shipping coy.
And that’s what we are tackling at the moment.
Looking at the bill, the charges are okay, but how are we sure that the officials that will control the collection won’t mess it up through corruption; I believe you know what I mean by that.
It’s up to Lagos state government to take it up, but they should be patient till when the issues at the ports are tackled before it commences.
Eugene Nweke (Deputy President, NAGAFF)
The idea is against international best practice and for that reason, I am not in support.
We appreciate the fact that Lagos State Government yielded a lot of revenue to maintain access road in Apapa.
Wharf landing fee is not Apapa’s but that of the State Government.
Terminal Operators are not adding value to the system either, because they are not paying back into the community a part of what they are getting. The fees remain trade barriers.
Isaiah Okonknwo (Freight Forwarder)
No, I am not in support of the collection of the fees because it doesn’t fall in line with international practice. Lagos is not the only place where we have ports; we have in other states where there are ports.
Lagos State Government has so many ways of generating revenue, the ports are for the federal government and we have ports outside Lagos and they are not collecting such fees, ours should not be a difference from what IMO is doing.
Onuchukwu James (President Importers Association)
The Importers Association of Nigeria of which I am the president, in totality condemns the decision to even take a bill like that to the state House of Assembly. This is a bill that will authorize Lagos State Government to be collecting money.
Immediately that bill was initiated, I remember we held a world press conference where we condemned it, because the port business is in Lagos state does not mean we have to pay to them. If the federal government is collecting revenue and the state government wants to do same, it will amount to double taxation and at the end of the day, it is the consumer that bears the consequence.
We need to clarify if the Federal Government has handed over the ports to Lagos state government for management, but if the federal government says no, then, it will amount to lawlessness for Lagos sate government to commence the collection wharf landing fees and if it starts automatically, every state will commence it. For example in Port-Harcourt they are going to initiate their own with a view to collecting money and this will create confusion in the nation’s maritime industry. The fact that Lagos state government has passed the bill does not mean that it can not be charged court.
Our advice is that the Governor should not sign that bill, because it will bring about confusion into our economy.