Chairman of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Ezekiel Adeniji, has said the Federal Government will soon reintroduce tollgates to federal roads across the country.
Adeniji, who spoke in an interview with online journal, Economic Confidential, on Saturday in Abuja, said it would generate revenue for government and jobs for Nigerians.
He did not, however, give a specific date for the reintroduction of tollgates.
Adeniji said, “Tolling is universal for revenue generation and job creation. In developed countries, there is no place you go to that you don’t pay toll for the roads you use.
“If you are paying for water, electricity and communication, why can’t you pay for good roads? We will have more revenue to maintain the roads.
“Because when you toll, you get more revenue, you create more jobs and you have funds to maintain the roads.”
Tollgates were scrapped by President Olusegun Obasanjo during his tenure. However, since his exit in 2007, there had been reports that government was considering the return of tollgates to federal roads, especially as some states like Lagos had successfully introduced such on their roads.
The FERMA boss also said the agency would recruit 10,000 Nigerians from communities where it would be engaged in major road maintenance work before the end of the year.
Adeniji said, “We intend to employ 10,000 youths along our routes before the end of the year. I mean 10,000 youths to work as labourers.
“They will have identity cards. They don’t even need to open bank accounts as they could be paid in cash.
“We want to hire indigenes living along federal roads as labourers. Those indigenes will be working on roads that affect their lives directly. The labourers should be the indigenes of the localities, while the leaders and head of the team could come from anywhere as far as they are Nigerians.”
He also said federal road maintenance engineers had been deployed in the 36 states to manage 95 road camps, adding that these would soon be increased to 500.
He said, “We are working towards having about 500 road camps where the indigenous population would be recruited to monitor the roads and report to FRMEs towards the maintenance of the roads.”
He said the efforts would reduce crime on the highways and create job opportunities for unemployed youths within the communities.