Sir: The issue of tollgates spilled out into the air and took possession of the land when the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola disclosed that the FG is working on modalities for the reintroduction of cashless toll plazas, other logistics include, acquiring more lands that will provide up to 10 lanes plazas.
My brow became clouded like a cloudy sky as I listened to the Minister’s statement with rapt attention. In a flash, I came to the understanding that it was still a proposal and not a policy statement. I asked rhetorically, why would the government want to reintroduce the tollgates? The answers came to me in barrels: Perhaps, the tolled road would bring market demand for the process of selecting worthwhile road projects.
Perhaps, the tollgates reintroduction will serve broader goals for growth and economic development. Perhaps, the tolled roads would add significantly to road capacity. Perhaps, the reintroduction is a way of generating income for the maintenance of federal roads. Perhaps, limited funds are available for construction and maintenance. Perhaps, the tollgates reintroduction is an effective financing mechanism that will present Nigeria with resources to embark on a strategic shift in sustainable transportation infrastructure. Perhaps, the revenue streams are shrinking and are not enough to maintain the federal roads.