18 years after the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo dismantled all tollgates on Federal roads across the country in 2003, the Federal Government is set to reintroduce the toll collections on some selected dual carriage highways.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.
A statement on Wednesday by a presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, said the council granted approval for the ‘Federal Roads and Bridges Tolling Policy and Regulations’ at its meeting on Wednesday.
While noting that the tolling system will prioritise the use of technology, some highlights of the regulations include recommended tolling fees for vehicles as follows: “Cars: N200; SUVs: N300; Private Buses: N300; Commercial Buses: N150, and Luxury Buses and Trucks: N500”.
According to the statement, the policy was developed “after extensive consultations with various stakeholders within and outside the Government, including Transport Unions like NURTW, NARTO, RTEAN”.
“A Willingness-To-Pay Survey was carried out, to arrive at the recommended pricing framework. The fees at existing tolled roads (Lagos and Abuja Airport Toll Plazas, and the Lekki and Ikoyi Toll Plazas) were also taken into consideration,” he added.
As contained in the statement, Fashola shared highlights of the new tolling policy as approved by the federal government to include use of an “open tolling system”, specifics on type of roads approved for tolling by the federal government, as well as type of vehicles exempted from the policy.
“It will be an Open Tolling system (just like the one that used to be in existence in the country), instead of a Closed Tolling system. (A Closed Tolling system means that you pay per distance traveled (‘distance-dependent’), while Open Tolling means you pay a fixed/flat rate that is not dependent on distance traveled),” the statement reads.
“Only dual carriageways owned by the Federal Government will be eligible for tolling by the Federal Government. (Of the 35,000km of Federal Roads in existence in the country, only 5,050km are dual carriageway). Federal carriageways that are single, i.e. undivided highways will not be tolled. The only exceptions here will be some bridges, which are listed in the Policy.
“Toll Revenues will be used to maintain the roads and also to repay investors who have invested in building or completing a road under the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI). Electronic Toll Collection and Management systems will be prioritised over Cash systems.
“People who live around Toll Plaza Areas will benefit from what is called ‘Frequent User’ discounts, in line with global best practice.”
Fashola, however, added that the tolling will not take effect “until the roads are motorable”.
Meanwhile, FG had also announced that Nigerians can now ‘freely’ convert cars using petrol to gas, which is cheaper, with effect from October.