By John Ikani
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a policy for the tolling of roads and bridges in the country.
This was made known by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola while briefing State House correspondents after the virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Fashola, the Policy and accompanying Regulations were developed after extensive consultations with various Stakeholders within and outside the Government, including Transport Unions like NURTW, NARTO and RTEAN.
While noting that the approval of the policy was a step towards tolling, Fashola pointed out that “tolls are not going to start tomorrow.”
He further disclosed that an open tolling policy would be adopted as opposed to a closed tolling policy.
What Fashola said
“The Ministry of Works and Housing presented a policy memorandum for the approval of federal roads and bridges tolling policy and also a regulation that will provide legal framework for the tolling policy.
“You will recall that about three years ago, you have asked severally here when roads will be tolled and I told you there is a lot of work.
“So, we have taken another step; let me be clear, tolls are not going to start tomorrow; so, let us just be clear about that; but the bid step to actual tolling was taken today by presenting for approval the broad policy that would guide tolling.
“So, that local people, states, local governments, all those who manage roads, investors who want to come in, will know what our tolling policy is.
“And that will form the basis of their financial modeling, their investments decision.
“When will they start? Tolls will not start until the roads are motorable; there will be agreements that have to be in place; negotiated with government through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission.”