NIGERIA’S federal cabinet has approved the re-introduction of toll collection points on some selected dual carriageways across the country as part of the government’s plans to generate more revenue to fund its budget.
Die to a combination of the fall in global crude oil purchases and reduced commerce as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria’s revenue generation has been hit hard. Bring a mono-economy heavily dependent on the sale of petroleum, Nigeria has borne the brunt of the slowdown in the global economy, with about one third of the 2021 budget being funded through borrowing.
In an attempt to address this, yesterday, the Federal Executive Council took a decision to make build tolls along several dual carriageways across the country. Certain vehicles will be exempt from these tolls including diplomatic, military and para-military automobiles as well as tricycles and motorcycles.
Works and housing minister Babatunde Fashola, said his ministry presented a memo which the council approved, to reintroduce tollgates on dual carriageways along the 35,000km federal roads. Almost two decades ago, the Olusegun Obasanjo administration dismantled all toll plazas on federal roads across the country in 2003.
According to Mr Fashola, these roads amounted to only 14.3% of the entire 35,000km stretch of federal roads that were dual carriageways. He added that dual carriageways only represented only 5,050km out of the total 35,000km and vehicles would pay between N200 and N500 toll per trip, depending on their brand
Mr Fashola said: “So the total network of roads, assuming we wanted to start today, which we’re not, that will be eligible for tolling on the federal network will be 14.3% of the total network. So, 85.27% 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 carriageways are some bridges and they are listed in the regulation.”
He stressed that the open tolling system to be introduced would not commence until the affected roads were motorable, while operational agreements would have to be negotiated with relevant government agencies. In addition, the minister also said the tolls collected would not only be used to maintain the roads but would also be used to construct new ones and the toll system would be electronically driven for transparency.