- Reintroduce Tolls on Roads, NUPENG, PTD Tell FG
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers on Thursday asked the Federal Government to reintroduce tolls on Nigerian roads.
According to them, many of the highways are not properly maintained due to paucity of funds, but the reintroduction of tolls will mean that there will be funds to rehabilitate the roads.
NUPENG, the PTD and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners made their submissions to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
The Chairman, PTD, Salimon Oladiti, appreciated the minister for some of the roads currently being fixed by the Federal Government, but noted that many others were in a bad shape.
He stated that to get the bad roads fixed, the government should toll the facilities as tanker drivers were willing to pay.
Oladiti said, “We appreciate what you (Fashola) have been doing on road construction since the inception of this government, especially with the way you are constructing the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Everybody knows that in the next 50 years, that road should be in a good shape.
“However, some other roads are built with substandard materials. For instance, the road from Ibadan to Oyo and the one from Ogbomoso to Ilorin were built with low quality materials and this is true. Many of us travel out of Nigeria and we see how things are done abroad.
“So we want you to work more on our roads; we want you to put toll gates. We want to pay. We want good and quality services for our members. This is our country and we don’t have another nation that we can call our own.”
Oladiti also stated that the tanker drivers would have embarked on a strike to protest the deplorable state of the Jebba-Mokwa road in Niger State if not for the intervention of the Department of State Services.
He urged the Federal Government to hasten up and fix the road before the raining season would begin, stressing that it was a major road that connects the North and the South.
Also speaking at the event, the National President, NUPENG, Igwe Achese, stated that the Federal Government should reintroduce tolls on roads, but emphasised that the initiative must be well managed this time round.
Achese said, “We need tolls on our roads if that is the best way we can key in and have good roads in our country. People will pay for the services and the money will come back again to maintain the roads and give them the quality that is needed. At NUPENG, we are in support of that.”In response, Fashola stated that he was pleased to receive the groups and assured his guests that the government had taken note of their requests.
The minister stated that there was a need to hold a workshop where all the issues raised as well as others in the road sector would be discussed and addressed, adding that he would continue to keep in touch with the groups in order to provide the best for Nigerian roads.