Title: Controversy Erupts Over Proposed Toll Fees for Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road

The Federal Government’s proposal to implement toll fees averaging N3,000 per gate on the completed Lagos-Calabar coastal road has sparked widespread outrage across various sectors.

Confirmation of the proposed toll fees came from Senator Dave Umahi, the Minister of Works, during a program on Channels Television. Umahi defended the cost, citing an estimated average of 50,000 vehicles passing through these toll points daily, with fees varying between N1,500 for cars and N5,000 for large trucks.

Critics, including Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Labour Party (LP), Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and transport operators, have vehemently opposed the exorbitant toll charges.

Umahi outlined plans for toll stations equipped with various facilities, including security measures, restaurants, filling stations, and parking lots, along the route. However, concerns were raised regarding the impact on local communities, particularly regarding property rights and compensation for affected individuals.

The Minister assured that Landmark Beach Resort would not be demolished for the road project and that no jobs would be lost. He clarified the Federal Government’s right of ownership to the shoreline, as outlined in the Waterways Act and a recent Supreme Court judgment.

The proposed toll fees have drawn criticism from various quarters. The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) vehemently rejected the N3,000 toll, stating that any amount exceeding N300 would exacerbate the citizens’ suffering. Atiku Abubakar criticized the lack of transparency in the project’s execution, particularly regarding the initial plan and cost estimation.

While the APC defended the necessity of tolls for infrastructure cost recovery, concerns lingered about the potential exploitation and fraud associated with the project. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) expressed apprehensions about the lack of transparency surrounding the project’s budget and called for clarity on the total cost.

As debates continue over the feasibility and fairness of the proposed toll fees, the controversy underscores the need for greater transparency, accountability, and public engagement in major infrastructure projects.


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