Saturday, 8 August 2015
Senate rejects motion to bring back tollgates
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion to reintroduce tollgates on all constructed and motorable roads in the country.
The upper chamber, however, urged the Federal Government to undertake immediate rehabilitation and dualisation of major highways and interstate roads across the country.
It also asked the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently explore additional ways to fund federal road rehabilitation projects in the country.
It mandated its ad-hoc Committee on Works to embark on audit of all road projects in Nigeria with a view to producing raw data for further necessary legislative action.
The Senate underscored the need to find lasting solution to road problems in the country in view of its attendant negative impact on trade and commerce.
The resolutions of the Senate followed a motion by Senator Dino Melaye and co-sponsored by 90 others.
In his lead debate, Melaye lamented that several trillions of naira had been spent on road re-construction and rehabilitation in the country since the return to democracy with minimal or no impact at all.
Senator Samuel Egwu (Ebonyi North) who supported the motion said there was no better time to reconstruct all federal roads in the country than now that Nigeria is working towards diversification of the economy.
Egwu noted that federal roads in the South East in particular had been in bad shape since the civil war in despite the contributions of those from the region to the growth of the economy.
He said, “The roads in the South East, particularly in Ebonyi State are death traps.
“Ebonyi State is one of the hubs of agriculture but the roads are in bad shape and that has made movement of goods and services to other parts of the country very difficult.’’