Nigerians, UK Returnees Deplore Access Roads at Lagos Airport Despite Revenue In Billions On Toll Gates

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…task Tinubu, Keyamo to stem corruption therein

Some Nigerians alongside UK Returnees on Wednesday decried precarious State of access roads at the main gate leading to the local wing of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State despite huge revenue accruing daily via toll gates at the airport.

Chief Bolaji Agoro, an oil and gas industry stakeholder told some journalists at the airport that huge revenue which to him should be between five and seven billions monthly ought to be enough to maintain the roads therein.

According to Agoro, “I lodged at an hotel close to one they called Legend hotel. I was there yesterday (Tuesday) and today, Wednesday in readiness for my trip out of Lagos State and observed influx of vehicles in hundreds hourly.

“This shows that we can count thousands of vehicles entering and moving out of this airport after paying certain fees in accordance with the type of vehicles that come in.

“A car with four Tyres is charged N500; those vehicles with six Tyres are paying N1,000 while trucks/trailers are charged N2,000 as toll fees and a number of these vehicles especially the commercial ones can enter several times and are expected to pay at every entry of the four toll gate points”.

Mr. Clement Fidelis, a UK returnee who sat very close to the first speaker at a lounge in the airport also buttressed this, saying, “despite huge revenues, road to Legend Hotel is deplorable while access roads to
Sahara Petroleum tank amongst others have gone so bad with crates everywhere!.

Fidelis said unlike what you see at Gatwick Airport in London, a number of Nigerians entering this Airport are paying cash with no receipt on many occasions fueling speculation that there is big time corruption going on around here.

“The deplorable state of infrastructure, including access roads around the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos is worrisome notwithstanding millions of naira earned daily as revenue from Access Toll Gates/Car Parks,” Fidelis added.

Another UK-bound passenger, Chukwu Arinse asked when corruption would become a thing of the past at every sector of Nigerian nation, wondering if the authorities are not aware of the allegations of corruption at the nation’s airports.

A trader who simply identified herself as Blessing said President Bola Tinubu and the Aviation Minister, Festus Keyamo need to do a lot to stem the alleged mind boggling corruption going on daily through leakages here.

She said, “Why can’t the FAAN utilize the revenue being collected from the toll gates and other facilities, including car parks, to fix roads around the airport?

“Your guess is as good as mine. The Federal Government needs to institute a probe panel like it did at the CBN recently to ensure that FAAN and Concessionaire account for the huge revenue it makes from automated/cash points at access toll plazas, car parks and other commercial activity points around the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, as the state of infrastructure; roads and other facilities within the airport – has reached intolerable levels,” Blessing added.

Comrade Adeolu Olubisi in his comment called on the CBN to produce automated chips which people can be using to access and pay tolls at the airport, saying “this debit card can be inserted in the ‘touch and open machines’. This would reduce if not totally eradicate the fraud of receiving cash from users of the airport.

Olubisi argued that, “if the allegation that between 400,000 to 500,000 vehicles patronize the Airport daily is anything to go by, then Federal Government is losing revenues in billions monthly and annually. The Minister, Mr. Festus Keyamo has started very well, let him also beam his searchlight on toll gates and overhaul the entire place for sanity to prevail and revenue to go through the right channels.

A stakeholder in the Aviation sector, Prof. Ben Adamu said since roads are not maintained at every location of the airport, the need to call on the authorities to re-introduce strict automated machines with security features to help prevent noticeable leakages at the airport has therefore becomes inevitable.

Adamu recalled a publication by The Nation Newspaper which dwelled and exposed the rot in the airport but which nothing has been done to atleast stem the ugly malfeasance at the airport.

He recalled part of the report, “… because the toll plaza is not fully automated, accounting for the accruals and how they are utilised will be an uphill task.”

He regretted that, “decrepit state of the road linking the local wing to the international terminal around the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Centex, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Headquarters Annex toward the private hangars, why is it that FAAN has failed to fix the roads that are unbefitting of our country’s gateway.”

An insider at the airport who didn’t volunteer his name alleged that not less than about 500,000 vehicles ply the route daily with a projected review to be hovering around N250million daily and estimated monthly revenue of about N7.5billion. His position could not be immediately verified as efforts to get the FAAN officials to comment on the allegations bordering on sleeve around the airport rages, as at the time of filing this report on Wednesday evening.

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