Senate Asks FG to Re-introduce Toll Gates on Federal RoadsFeatured, Latest News, News Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja
BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Senate has urged the Executive branch to immediately bring back the toll gate policy by ensuring that every Federal Roads have toll gates.
Adopting the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Works on the Total Collapse of Federal Roads in Nigeria during yesterday’s plenary, the upper chamber equally directed its Committee on Works to meet with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) on concessioning and Public Private Partnership (PPP) of new methods of funding federal road projects.
Although former President Olusegun Obasanjo had ordered demolition of toll gates erected on the country’s highways in 2004, the upper chamber believed revenue collected from the scheme would be channeled into maintaining Federal roads.
The Committee, chaired by Senator Barnabas Gemade ( APC Benue North East), also recommended the rebuilding and constant maintenance of existing roads infrastructure as well as introduction of weigh bridges to protect roads.
The 15-man panel recommended investment in rail, air and water ways to act as alternatives to road transport, which would decrease traffic on the roads for longer lifespan. The panel also advocated for concrete roads instead of laterite roads in some parts of the country, especially in areas not suitable for bituminous pavement.
The Gemade-led Committee also observed that the yearly budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Works is not enough to construct major roads to international standard.
It expressed regret that most of the federal roads are below standard and cannot stand the test of time, blaming the trend on contractors who compromise standards.
“There should be proper and adequate planning of roads. The short term approach of yearly budgeting has proved ineffective, this promotes neglect of some of the roads. At times, when new government takes over, new programmes will be initiated and the ongoing projects are abandoned. If there is a policy that promotes long term planning, any government that comes will be bound to follow it”, the report reads in part.
The Committee expressed dismay that most federal roads were poorly designed, while others were constructed without designs.
Following the resolution of the Senate, the Committee also visited communities with prevalent gully erosion sites in Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo and Yobe states.
To checkmate the trend, the panel therefore recommended easier access to Ecological Funds by State of the Federation, review of Land Use Act as well as improved monitoring and implementation of intervention projects.
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