Nigeria threatens to sanction CNN for negative report on toll gate

Nigeria’s transportation ministry has threatened CNN with sanctions for a report from August titled “Nigeria’s Rivers toll road: Shocking tollgate!”

Earlier this month, the Nigerian government published a statement titled “A letter to CNN covering investigation” in the government’s official gazette.

The missive, which CNN obtained, accuses the network of misusing private information, misleading readers, over-stating the amount paid by members of the public, misrepresenting the facts, and selectively quoting government officials without confirming facts with government sources. The ministry accused CNN of misleading readers and overstating the cost of the toll gates in Lagos: “Where did CNN get the $5 to $10 million from? They must have got it from the governor,” the ministry said.

The government claims that the Lagos toll road in question is “a Federal Highway with separate exclusive right of way designated for the Lagos State Government only.” The government also accused CNN of misleading readers about the number of toll gates operated by the Lagos State government: “It is neither true nor correct to state that there are 13 toll gates operating on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway” or “In May 2015, one lane (of traffic) was converted to a toll gate for one hour, for several issues identified by the government of Lagos State.”

CNN “apparently chose not to verify the statement” about 14 of the toll gates operating on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, and therefore used figures for the toll gate operating hours, not total hours.

Read the full text of the government’s statement here, or scroll down to watch the video below.

CNN has not responded to a request for comment.


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