FEC okays about N16b for roads
THERE are indications that federal government tolls will be re-introduced on federal roads and highways across Nigeria.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, dropped the hint yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents after Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at Council Chambers of Presidential Villa Abuja.
Fashola fielded questions from reporters in company of Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed. According to Fashola, there was no law that stopped federal government from having toll gates on federal roads.
“There is no reason why we can’t toll, there was a policy of the government to abolish tolls or as it were, dismantle toll plaza but there is no law that prohibits tolling in Nigeria today. We expect to return toll plazas. We have concluded their designs of what they will look like, what materials they will be rebuilt with, what new considerations must go into them. What we are looking at now and trying to conclude is how the bank end runs,” he said.
The minister also disclosed that plans are afoot to eliminate payment of cash by introducing electronic mode of payment, adding that government may acquire more lands to expand the width of the toll gates which may have ten lanes.
Similarly, FEC yesterday approved more N15.7 billion for road construction and rehabilitations particularly completion of Suleja-Minna-Labata Road in Niger State and Ibadan-Lagere-Ilesa By-pass to link Oyo and Osun states. Fashola said N12.6 billion of the amount (N15.7billion) was approved as variation for the completion of Suleja-Minna-Labata road while the remaining N3.1billion was for the completion of Ibadan – Lagere – Ilesa bye-pass road.
“Two contracts were approved. The first one is the Ibadan-Lagere-Ilesa, 22 kilometers, the contract was first awarded in 2010, without budgetary funding and the rates have become obsolete so the contractor wants new rates and that has necessitated a revision of the rates by N3.165 billion and that means the old contract price of N6.7 billion has now moved to N9.8 billion.
The same is true of the Suleja-Minna-Lambata road, covering a total of 101 kilometers, it was awarded in two phases, the first phase was awarded I believe in 2010, 40 kilometers, and then the second phase covering 61 kilometers, was awarded in March 2015 but they used the 2010 rate. So, the contractor is now saying he cannot continue that way because those rates are unsustainable…,” he said.
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