Why FG plans to re-introduce tolls on Nigerian roads- Minister

The government said it needs the revenue from the tolls.

The Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda, has said that theplanned re-introduction of tolling system is meant to make additional funds available for road management.

The minister gave the clarification on Thursday in Abuja at the Federal Roads and Bridges Tolling Policy Consultative Forum organised by the Ministry.

Mr. Yuguda said that the tolling policy was being re-introduced to open up the sector to local and international investors and to make more funds available for road maintenance.

He said the new policy would be pursued on a Public Private Partnership basis unlike in the past when it was implemented through public service with all its trappings of inadequacies and mismanagement.

“Nigeria operated toll roads for several years, and it was abandoned in 2004 due to legal disputes, revenue leakages and unmet maintenance of the tolled roads.

“However, substantial benefits can be derived from tolling; road tolling has been tried and tested in many countries.

“Nigeria can usefully refer to the experience of other countries, apply lessons learnt and follow best practice in successfully building, managing and maintaining such roads “The green paper on the proposed tolling policy on federal roads and bridges calls for a fresh start,’’ he said.

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He said more than 90 per cent of economic and social activities in the country entailed plying the roads, and thereby putting pressure on them.

The minister explained that funds are therefore needed to maintain roads to keep them in good condition.

Mr. Yuguda said the tolling policy would ensure improvement in the quality and safety of roads, as well as adoption of  international best practice in road management.

He said the Green Paper on the policy would be deliberated on by stakeholders in the sector and submitted to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had in 2004 ordered the dismantling of toll gates across the country, citing loss of revenue to government and poor maintenance of the tolled roads.

(NAN)

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