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The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola announced the reintroduction of tollgates on selected dual carriageways across the country, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday, 4th August 2021
Consequently, many Nigerians have expressed concerns to reintroduce toll collections on the designated routes earmarked by the Federal government.
Gbolahan Olojede, an expert in Public policy analysis is of the opinion that paying N200 on a motorable road, is more money in his pocket.
Olojede made this know as a guest on CityTalks with Reuben Abati.
The Minister of works and Housing stated that cars would pay N200, SUVs and Jeeps N300, private buses N300, commercial buses N150, luxury buses and trucks N500.
According to him, for the project to be a successful programme, the government will have to communicate this in a “robust citizen’s education system,” and the citizens to understand it along that line.
In his view, the reason why the reintroduction of the tollgates is important is because the Federal government does not have enough resources to maintain federal roads.
Hence, the option available is to begin to cutdown private resources into that space.
Recall that the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, 18years ago demolished all toll plazas across the country.
Olojede however, noted that One of the problems that projects like this suffer from, is the issue of trust deficit between the govt and the public.
He said, “Government must ensure that those roads are motorable as a precondition to the implementation of the tolling post.”
He also noted that what Federal government is doing now, that is different from what was done in 2003 when toll plaza was demolished was the introduction of electronic means of collection.
He added, “If the level of transparency the government has put on the table is sustained, it will ensure that the credibility of the programme also is sustained.
“If we fail at the collection efficiency, the project itself will be totally undermined
“In the tolling there is also a regulator which is the ICRC the infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission of Nigeria, it is the duty of this agency to ensure that private organizations and govt are held accountable as far as the collection of this toll is concerned.”
Olojede opines “that the ministry is trying to do is that we are transparent about this and we want it to be credible.
“The reason why motorcycle, tricycle and bicycles are exempted from toll fare, is because they are seen as the bottom part (rung) of the ladder.
“It is the same that was extended to the commercial bus, (N150) if they are burdened, they will extend the burden to passengers.
“The military and the police can be in some emergency operations and so that the issue of toll won't be a factor to stop them.”