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Senate Asks President Buhari To Reintroduce Toll Gates

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Senate on Thursday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reverse the toll gate policy by ensuring that every Federal Roads have toll gates.

 

Federal government under leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo had scrapped toll gate across the country.

However, Senate in the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Works on the Total Collapse of Federal Roads in Nigeria during at the Senate’s plenary adopted the committee’s recommendation on scraping of toll gates on highways.

 Senate also mandated 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.

In his presentation, the chairman of the Committee,  Senator Barnabas Gemade, 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.

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 read 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.

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