Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

FG To Reintroduce Toll Gates In 38 Points Across Nigeria -Fashola

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By Nuel Suji – Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday disclosed that federal government has concluded arrangement to reintroduce toll gates in 38 points across the country after completion of the highways.
Mr. Fashola who appeared before Senate Committee on FERMA informed the lawmakers that the toll gates would be managed by private sector and government would design software to monitor vehicles passing through the roads and road users would be able to pay toll on their phones.
The Minister said that the toll would be used for maintenance of the highways.

“We are not going to ask road users to pay toll on a road that is not good. While the construction (of gates) is going on, we are working on the design. We want to standardise the design so that people when we ask people to come and bid for the construction, we can control what they are going to construct,” he said.

Adding: “They are going to construct with the materials we have prescribed. We can also control the price so that nobody is bidding with disparage prices; there will be the floor and the ceiling. Your price will vary according to how many plazas you build and not because you claim to have used ‘foreign’ materials.

“The last part we are working on is the software that drives the management, audit and payment of toll fares. We want to use the development that has taken place between when the old toll plazas were dismantled and now. There were no GSM and payment platforms as of that time as we have cellphones and cards now. We want to make it very easy for people to go to kiosks and buy toll cards and pay tolls.

“It will also be easy to audit from any of our offices. We will be able to see what is going on, how many people passed, how many vehicles, and we can settle payments to operators in a very transparent and accountable way.”

The Minister also appealed to the Committee to revise procurement law in order to fastback contract approval by the government.
Speaking on the budget release to FERMA,  Fashola disclosed that out of N25 billion budget for the agency in the 2017 budget only N800 million was released so far by the federal ministry of Finance to the agency.
In his opening  remarks,  the chairman of the committee,  Senator Magnus Abe expressed dissatisfaction with increase in traffic during festive period across the country.
Responding to the presentation of the Minister,  Abe stated that the committee would come up with a motion on the release of N800 million to FERMA out of the N25 billion appropriated in the 2017 budget.
He said the committee could clearly see the challenges facing the agency with interactive session.
The chairman added that he was pleased when he was informed by the Minister that main cause of the accidents is no bad roads.
According to him, this has been a very useful interaction, we can clearly see the challenges you are facing, we will give you support.

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