Mixed reactions continue the Federal Government’s proposal to return toll gates to highways 10 years after their removal.
Some stakeholders in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday shared their views on the proposal.
Alhaja Sikirat Adeyanju, the Iyaloja of Oshodi Market, was in support of the motion as long as certain palliative measures would be put in place.
“If it’s certain that once they start collecting toll fees the revenue generated will be used to provide social amenities then so be it.
“Generally speaking all the roads are bad, if the proposed return is to build more infrastructure and it will be well accounted for with the government being sincere, it will be a welcome development,’’ she said.
Pastor Joe Bankole told NAN that in spite of the current situations in the country, certain measures must be taken to address the challenges.
“During a national emergency, common sense dictates a course of action that can generate a little benefit in aid of common good, our current situation calls for drastic measures.
“But such monies generated must not be stolen through fraudulent activities of unscrupulous people, I support it if all the safeguards are in place,’’ he said.
Mr Dele Bodunde, a retired civil servant said that the most important issue was how the Federal Government can ensure accountability for the project.
“Our roads are bush paths, there is the need for state of emergency to be declared on our highways,’’ he said.
Alhaji Tajudeen Lateef, an official of Oshodi market, on the contrary, said it was market men and women who were victims of multiple taxes on the road.
“I believe we currently pay multiple taxes as it is without any value for money being paid. Transporters will not bear that burden of paying for toll gates. It is innocent civil servants, artisans that will pay indirectly.
“Fuel pump price was increased in a bid to improve on basic amenities, but we all know that much has not being achieved in that aspect. Look at our roads, hospitals, and schools,’’ he said.
Adesola Lawrence, a retired Accountant said that the proposed reintroduction is totally uncalled for.
“I remember that in 2004 a lot of money was spent to demolish toll gates across Nigeria, what has changed, do we now have more honest toll workers that will not embezzle.
“What revenue can we generate from the toll that can measure up to what we get from crude oil. For me I believe this administration should look inward and consider the masses when they formulate policies,’’ he said.
NAN reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, called for the demolition of toll gates in 2004 as a result of absence of accountability.
Hon. Goke Oguntulu, SA on transportation to the Chairman Oshodi-Isolo told NAN that, if it was certain that what was obtainable at the Lekki concession would be obtainable then government should go ahead.
“Truth is, this will increase prices of transportation and commodities will be affected, you know how Nigerians are wired. But if the Federal Government can get it right like the Lekki Concession, that will be fine,’’ he said.
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, while briefing State House Correspondents after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja said:
“There is no reason why we can’t toll. There was a policy of the government to abolish tolls or as it where 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 as of now and trying to conclude is how the bagk end runs.”