Toll Gates To Return To Nigerian Roads

MINISTER of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has hinted of a new policy that would guide tolling of Federal road networks in the country.

Fashola, who was not specific on when the toll-gates would come into effect, hinted that investors interested in the sector should start warming up to key into the policy.

Fashola disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Explaining further, he said, “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 legal framework for the tolling policy.

“You recall that about two years ago, you had asked me severally here when roads will be tolled. And I told you, there’s a lot of work. So we have taken another step. So let me be clear, tolls are not going to start tomorrow. So let us be clear about that. But the big step to actual tolling was taken today by presenting for approval the broad policy that will guide the 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 modelling, their investment decision.

“Now, when will it start? First of all, toll will not start until roads are motorable. So let’s be clear about those.

“There will be agreements that have to be placed, negotiated with government through the Ministry of works and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission. So but the highlights of the policy, I think is what I would like to share. Some of the highlights are that we will adopt an open tolling policy as distinct from a closed tolling policy.

“The difference is that only open tolling policy, which is what we were used to before. you pay to at a barrier over a fixed or predetermined distance. The close toll systems means that you will pay tolls over the distance you travel and the size of your vehicle. We haven’t operated that before. So we are going back to what we know.

“We also approve that consultations must be done. Willingness to pay surveys must be done before specific roads are tolled.

“We presented and council approved that only dual carriageways of the 35,000 kilometres should be eligible for tolling by the Federal Government. And dual carriageways represent only 5,050 kilometres out of 35,000 kilometres.

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

On his part, Minister of Power, Engr Saleh Mamman, also told State House correspondents that the FEC also approved $2,541,689, N498,230,281 for four projects in the Ministry of Power.

Giving details of the projects, Mamman said, “The Federal Ministry of Power also received the blessing of the Federal Executive Council by giving four approvals for our contracts. One is the supply and installation of motorised portable hydraulic compressor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in favour of Messrs Intern Equipment Nigeria Limited in the sum of US$502,950 plus N15, 800,000.

“The second approval was also received for the award of the contract for the supply and delivery of three sets of online partial discharge measurement and monitoring equipment for the TCN in favour of Messrs T and D Technology Limited in the sum of US$ 874,800 offshore plus N240,100,000 onshore with a delivery period of nine months.

“The third approval was the award of the contract for the repairs of 100 MVA and four sets of 60 MVA 132 33 power transformers for TCN in favour of GT Engineering Limited in the sum of US$ 661,220 offshore and N127,758,781 onshore with a delivery period of 12 months.

“On the last one, approval was also granted for the contract for procurement of 10 sets of 330 KV and 30 sets of 133 KV circuit breaker for the TCN in favour of Horsepower Engineering Trading Limited in the sum of US$ 502,719 plus N114,571,500 with a delivery period of six months.”