The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the federal roads and bridges tolling policy and regulation that will provide the legal framework for its implementation.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, briefed State House correspondents after the virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The FEC said that tolling would not start until the roads were made motorable.
“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 a 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 bid step to actual tolling was taken today by presenting for approval the broad policy that would guide tolling.
“So, those 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 the 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 that an open tolling policy would be adopted as opposed to a closed tolling policy.
“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 that operated before; so, we are going back to what we know.
“We also approved that consultations must be done; willingness to pay; surveys must be done before specific roads are tolled.’’