Tollgates To Make Comeback In Nigeria

The federal government has announced plans to return tollgates to federal highways. Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said this while he briefed State House correspondents after the Wednesday Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

In 2003, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, abolished tollgates from federal highways. But Fashola said the return of tollgates was part of the discussions during the meeting.

Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo tollgates
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

On the move to return tollgates, Fashola said the move has gotten to an advanced stage, adding that “There is no reason why we can’t toll.”

He said, “There was a policy of the government to abolish tollgates or dismantle toll plazas but there is no law that prohibits tolling in Nigeria today.”

He hinted that the administration was considering a cashless payment through the introduction of electronic mode of payment.

He said there was a need for the government to acquire more land to expand the width of the tollgates for conveyance.

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Minister of Works in Nigeria Babatunde Fashola tollgates
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

Already, there is anxiety among transporters and regular travelers that the tolling would lead to the increased cost of transportation.

Distant trips could experience a percentage increase since the transporters would invariably transfer the cost of tolling to travelers.

There are worries that tolling could lead to delays, as there may be build-ups at the points of tolling.

This is even as debates have erupted, as to what manner of electronic tolling the government is likely to adopt, given that a good number of transporters are illiterates.