The Federal Executive Council has approved the reintroduction of toll collections on some selected dual carriageways across the country.
This is as it exempted diplomatic, military, para-military vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles from the scheme.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed these on Wednesday while briefing the State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The decision was made almost two decades after the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration dismantled all toll plazas on federal roads across the country in 2003.
Fashola said his ministry presented a memo which the council approved to reintroduce tollgates on dual carriageways of the 35,000km federal roads.
These roads, he explained, amounted to only 14.3 per cent of the entire 35,000km stretch of federal roads that were dual carriageways and would be eligible for tolling with vehicles paying between N200 and N500 toll per trip, depending on their brand while diplomatic, military, para-military as well as tricycles and motorcycles would be exempted.
The minister added that dual carriageways represented only 5,050km out of the total 35,000km.
He said, “So the total network of roads today, assuming we wanted to start today, which we’re not, that will be eligible for tolling on the 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 minister said with the FEC approving the reintroduction of toll plazas on selected roads, it was now working modalities to determine how soon the tolling system would take off.
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 a 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.”
Fashola stressed that the open tolling system to be introduced would not commence until the affected roads were motorable while operational agreements would have to be negotiated with relevant government agencies.
The Minister also said the toll collected would not only be used to maintain the roads but would also be used to construct new ones while the toll system would be electronically driven for transparency.
Fashola noted that FG consulted widely with public and private sector stakeholders before agreeing to reintroduce toll on federal highways.
FEC approves $2.5m, N498.2m for four power projects
The Federal Executive Council also approved $2.54m and N498.23m for four projects in the Ministry of Power.
The Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, disclosed this on Wednesday to State House.
He 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 a motorised portable hydraulic compressor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria in favour of Messrs Intern Equipment Nigeria Limited for $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 $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 $661,220 offshore and N127,758,781 onshore with a delivery period of 12 months.”
He said approval was also granted for the contract for procurement of 10 sets of 330KV and 30 sets of 133KV circuit breaker for the TCN in favour of Horsepower Engineering Trading Limited in the sum of $502,719 plus N114,571,500 with a delivery period of six months.
On his part, the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, said the council ratified an anticipatory approval received from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on the nation’s Nationally Determined Contribution, which is part of its commitment to the climate change pact.
He noted that Nigeria committed to cut greenhouse gas emission by 20 per cent as of last year and by 45 per cent in 2030.
“The Federal Ministry of Environment presented a memo today, seeking for the ratification of an anticipatory approval that we received from Mr President, on the submission of our primary Nationally Determined Contribution.
Asked if Nigeria achieved the 20 per cent emission cut last year, Abubakar said, “Yes, we have. Since the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2016 and even before then, the government has put in several interventions to deal with the issue of climate change.”