Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Ogun State loses between N3 billion and N5 billion as revenue monthly to haphazard toll collection, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, disclosed on Monday.
The governor during the flag-off ceremony of harmonisation of haulage revenue collection in Ogun State, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta.
The event tagged: ‘’Harmonisation Eradicating Multiplicity in Haulage Revenue Collection’’, was attended by top ranking officials of security agencies, stakeholders in transport and haulage sector as well as chairmen of local governments and local council development areas in the state.
Amosun, who lamented the huge loss of revenue by the state due to unorganised toll revenue collection, said the new scheme would address the identified inadequacies of the former method of toll collection.
He added that the harmonisation scheme, would also block revenue leakages and eradicate the issue of printing and issuing of fake toll tickets by some contractors.
Amosun, however, declared that with new revenue scheme in place, tolls posts being operated by local governments, agencies and LCDAs, could no longer exist, vowing that the state would no longer tolerate illegal ways of toll collection.
The governor, further explained that the new scheme, apart from eradicating touting at the designated toll points across the state, would also be in compliance with the directive of the Inspector General of Police that all road blocks should be dismantled.
According to him, harmonised tickets will henceforth be issued by the state government, while erection of signposts, provision of reflective jackets and issuance of security code, will also be put in place, to make the scheme a success.
The governor, who warned that anyone found operating illegal toll points would be prosecuted, assured that the harmonisation scheme would not lead to job loss, but create more fundamental, dignifying and viable jobs for the citizens.
He stressed that a town hall meeting would soon be held, to further intimate the stakeholders and members of the public on the new scheme, expressing optimism it would reverse the trend of huge revenue loss in the state.
Earlier, the Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Adewale Oshinowo, said the scheme was put together to put an end to the haphazard way of collecting streams of revenue due to the government from all the 63 toll points and control posts.
Oshinowo, added that, to achieve the desired result, a technical committee, comprising of the officials of the ministries of finance, commerce and industry, agriculture, forestry and environment, was set up to fashion out a modern method of collecting revenue.