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We’ll provide alternative on toll roads – Umahi

The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, has stated that alternative needs to be provided on highway toll gates would be erected. In a statement…

The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, has stated that alternative needs to be provided on highway toll gates would be erected.

In a statement Tuesday, by his Special Adviser on Media, Orji Uchenna Orji, Umahi stated that a road can’t be tolled without giving users an alternative when plying the route.

“We have to provide alternative roads because by law you cannot toll roads if there is no alternative route to it. It is very important that every project must have alternative routes.”

Recall that the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had concessioned 12 roads under the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI).

The concessioning had opened room for tolling on the roads to make them commercially viable.

But Umahi, while inaugurating three committees to fast-track the implementation of the HDMI, noted that the number of toll gates and toll stations would be determined by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) with the use of CCTV cameras, solar light and security on the roads.

“Whatever that will make our roads safer is very important to us. All these must be considered part of the business.”

He harped on the need for the committees to work effectively and concertedly bearing in mind the expectations of Nigerians, in terms of transparency, standard and efficiency in contract negotiations.

He noted that contracts with some concessionaires had been consummated, but the current economic dynamics and the new policy direction of the present administration would require a review of the scope of work and cost implication.

“We own the design; you will own the cost of the project while we carry out verification on the cost of the projects; the idea is to scope the projects. We want to have a standard road infrastructure to toll. Our business is to ensure that your design conforms to the ministry’s standard of design that is why we are making the Director of Roads and Bridges of the ministry to be the chairman of the committee on Scoping and Design.”