The Jonathan Administration has concluded plans to reintroduce toll gates on federal highways beginning from January 2012. Jonathan’s Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, on November 3, 2011 told the Senate Committee on Works that the proceeds from the toll gates would be used to effect repairs on the roads, which are currently in a state of disrepair.

Former President Obasanjo had, in 2004, abolished the scheme and dismantled all toll gates across the country, after accusing the managers of using the avenue to enrich themselves.

Jonathan must be crazy to go ahead with such a terrible plan especially given that he has promised safety nets for the masses if his planned fuel subsidy removal goes through.

It should be noted that the overwhelming, if not exclusive, majority of the motorists who ply these federal roads are the suffering and struggling masses. Toll gates, depending on the length of the journey, have the potential to result in increased transport costs that do not in any way comprise safety nets.

Funds with which to effect road repairs and carry out other developmental initiatives can be gotten by drastically reducing the extremely heavy cost of governance – recurrent expenditure which is at least 70% of the federal budget.

Also, funds for road repairs should be sourced from the private coffers of top political elements in, especially GEJ’s PDP who have often misappropriated capital allocations. If GEJ means business, he should muster the political will to go after these fellows since he promised he would tolerate no sacred cows anyway, rather than, once again, resorting to get the common man pay for government’s failures.


Posted November 14, 2011 by Raymond Eyo in Aso Villa

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