The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the federal roads and bridges tolling policy and regulation that will provide legal framework for its implementation.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, revealed this on Wednesday after the FEC meeting.
Fashola briefed State House correspondents after the virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister said that tolling would not start until the roads were made motorable
He said: “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented a policy memorandum for the approval of federal roads and bridges tolling policy and also a regulation that will provide legal framework for the tolling policy.
“You will recall that about three years ago, you have asked severally here when roads will be tolled and I told you there is a lot of work. So, we have taken another step. Let me be clear: tolls are not going to start tomorrow.
“So, let us just be clear about that, but the big step to actual tolling was taken today by presenting for approval the broad policy that would guide tolling. So that local people, states, local governments, all those who manage roads, investors who want to come in, will know what our tolling policy is.
“And that will form the basis of their financial modeling, their investments decision. When will they start? Tolls will not start until the roads are motorable. There will be agreements that have to be in place, negotiated with government through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission.”
Fashola presented some of the highlights that would be adopted in the tolling policy. He said an open tolling policy would be adopted as opposed to a closed tolling policy.
He said, “The difference is that on the open tolling policy, which is what we are used to before, you pay toll at barrier over a fixed or pre-determined distance.
“Closed tolls system means that you pay tolls over the distance you travel and the size of your vehicle. We have not had that operated before. So, we are going back to what we know.
“We also approved that consultation must be done; willingness to pay; surveys must be done before specific roads are tolled.”
Fashola said the Council also approved that only dual carriage ways out of the 35000km of road should be eligible for tolling by the Federal Government.
The Minister said the dual carriage ways represented only 5,050km out of 35,000km.
He said, “We also got approval that the tolls will be used to maintain the roads, to construct new road as they accrue and also to pay the investors who invest in building or completing a road and then take a concession on it.”
According to him, a process of largely electronic collection and management system for audit and transparency will be adopted.
He, however, said that there would be some cash payments at the very minimum and hopefully, phased out as the process progressed.
Fashola said it was proposed and council approved those certain types of vehicles be exempted from paying tolls.
He said, “Those are bicycles, pedal cycles, tricycles, motorcycles and that modes of two or three wheeled transport used mainly by disadvantaged members of our community. They will be entitled to full 100 per cent exemption as we will diplomatic vehicles, military and paramilitary vehicles.”
According to the new policy, cars, SUVs, private buses, commercial buses, luxury buses and trucks will pay N200, N300, N150 and N500 respectively.