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Tolling returns on federal roads nationwide

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…Only 14.3% of 35,000 roads eligible
…Vehicles to pay between N150 and N500
…Diplomatic, military, para-military vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles exempted

FEDERAL government has approved a federal roads and bridges tolling policy and regulations.

  Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, dropped the hint while briefing State House correspondents after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

  Explaining that tolls would be collected only on some selected dual carriage highways across the country, Fashola also said that diplomatic vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles, military and Para-military vehicles will be exempted.

  According to the minister, only 5,050 kilometres or 14.3 per cent of the entire 35,000 kilometres federal roads that are dual carriageways will be eligible for tolling with vehicles paying between N150 and N500 per trip depending on their make.

  “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 per cent of the total network, so 85.27 per cent 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 carriageway are some bridges and they are listed in the regulation.

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, 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 (yesterday) 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,” Fashola said.

  This is coming 18 years after Nigeria dismantled all toll plazas on federal roads across the country.

  He also said all interest groups were consulted before the memo was submitted.

  A presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, stated in a statement posted on his official Facebook page, yesterday that the regulations were developed after extensive consultations with stakeholders in the transport sector such as “National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) among others, Ogunlesi listed the recommended tolling fees in the approved policy and regulations to include “cars: N200; Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs): N300; private buses: N300; commercial buses: N150; luxury buses and trucks: N500.”

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