Road Projects: FG approves tolling of federal highways


…To refund N9.6bn to Plateau, Borno

In order to ensure adequate maintenance of federal roads in the country,  Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved tolling of highways cancelled by the administration of former President Olusegunn Obasanjo. During the meeting,  a refund of N9.6 billion to Plateau and Borno State Governments was approved as fund spent  for road projects executed by the two states on behalf of the Federal Government.

This is even as FEC approved the procurement process for the take off of a central clearing house for the operations of toll plaza concessionaires, across nine federal highways in the country.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

He said, “We presented two policy memoranda. The first was for a refund to two state governments for previous interventions on Federal Government roads, subject to the July 2016 cut-off after which refunds will no longer be eligible.

“The two states which had outstanding with respect to eligible roads are Plateau and Borno.”

The minister, in 2019, announced that the government had concluded designs for the return of toll plazas on federal roads. He had promised that the tolls will not start  until the roads are motorable and this will affect only federal dual carriage roads. The proceeds from the tolls would be used to maintain and construct roads

He said at the time that though the government dismantled toll plazas in the past, there was no law abolishing tolls.

How it works

According to the minister, a Willingness-To-Pay Survey was carried out to arrive at the recommended pricing framework and existing tolled roads were taken into consideration to arrive at the prices.

The Council slso approved the refund of N6, 601,769, 470, 99 in favour of Plateau State and the sum of N3, 084, 797, 113.34 for Borno State.”

The minister further revealed that the council approved a memorandum that informed it about the commencement of a procurement process for a Central Clearing House for the operations of Toll Plaza Concessionaires.

He said this was in line with the current administration’s decision to resuscitate tolling across the country.

“This approval will give room for a private sector operator to build a Central Clearing House at its own expense, operate it, recover and then ultimately transfer back to the government.

“What the Central Clearing House will do is to synchronise interoperability between different toll systems that may be used by different concessionaires when they commence their tolls.

“It will also provide on stop accounting system and a single payment recovery system where everybody is paid at the end of the operations.”

He said it would also provide visibility for government to see what was going on in the operations of each concessionaire.