by Kemi Busari,
The federal government has concluded plans to re-introduce tolls on roads across the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.
He said this at an interactive session with the Senate committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, on Thursday.
Mr. Fashola said the new toll regime will be an improved adaptation of the past toll points as the ministry will adopt similar toll regime throughout the country.
“Tolls will come,” Mr. Fashola said. “We have looked at the previous tolling regime, the inefficiencies raised we have tried to review. One of the things we have done is to try and standardise the toll designs for the entire country. We have finished with that. So that we’ll expand its width according to the size of the road but they will be built with the same kind of materials that we can control.”
Mr. Fashola said that the toll points will be managed by private organisations as part of the federal government’s job creation scheme.
He added that the tolls will first be re-introduced at moribund toll points previously used by the government.
“The existing law allows us to toll and we have gone back to pre-existing toll points where the previous tolls were dismantled and those are the places where it is easy to re-introduce them again for a start because they used to be there. So, its sensitisation that is necessary will not be expensive.
“We’ve identified 38 points across the country. What we are waiting to achieve now is completion of the construction work that is going on. We don’t think it is fair to ask people to pay tolls on roads that are not motorable. While that is going on, we are working on the design. We want to standardise it so that when we put out the advert for people to come and bid, we can control what they are going to construct.”