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Reintroduction of toll plazas: Nigerians to pay N500, N200 per trip

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By Sunday Elom N

The federal government of Nigeria, on Wednesday, announced its approval of the reintroduction of toll collections from vehicle owners on some selected federal dual carriageways across the country.

The toll collection, said to have been approved by the federal executive council, FEC, at its weekly meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however exempted diplomatic, military, paramilitary vehicles, tricycles popularly known as Keke NAPEP and motorcycles from the system.

The minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made this known while briefing the State House correspondents at the end the FEC meeting, said that his ministry presented a memo to the council which it approved to reintroduce tollgates on dual carriageways of the 35,000km federal roads across the country.

The reintroduction of toll plazas is coming almost two decades after the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration dismantled all toll plazas on federal roads across the country in 2003.

Fashola explained that the roads covered by the system which would be eligible for tolling amounted to only 14.3 per cent of the entire 35,000km stretch of federal roads that were dual carriageways, saying that vehicles would be charged between N200 and N500 toll per trip, depending on their brand, while diplomatic, military, paramilitary as well as tricycles and motorcycles would be exempted.

He further noted that dual carriageways represented only 5,050km out of the total 35,000km federal roads across the country.

“So, the total network of roads today, assuming we wanted to start today, which we’re not, that will be eligible for tolling on the federal network will be 14.3 per cent of the total network. So, 85.27 per cent will not be eligible for tolling.

“We have seen that most of those dual carriageways also have alternative roads, but they are single carriageways; that’s why we left them. So, the only exception to single carriageway is some bridges and they are listed in the regulation,” the minister said.

Fashola, who did not specify the commencement date for the toll collection said that, with the FEC having approved the reintroduction of the toll plazas, his ministry was now working out modalities to determine how soon the tolling system would start.

According to him, “The ministry of works and housing presented a policy memorandum for the approval of federal roads, bridges tolling policy and, also, a regulation that will provide a legal framework for the tolling policy.

“So, we have taken another step. So, let me be clear: tolls are not going to start tomorrow. Let us be clear about that.”

The minister maintained that the open tolling system to be introduced would not commence until the affected roads were motorable, adding that operational agreements would also have to be negotiated with relevant government agencies.

Fashola, who said the toll system would be electronically driven for transparency, further noted that the toll collected would be used to maintain the affected roads and also construct new roads.

He said that the federal government consulted widely with public and private sector stakeholders on the reintroduction of the toll plazas system before arriving at its decision.

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