Nigerians are already reacting to the plans of the federal government to reintroduce toll plazas along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, revealed the plan in an interview on Sunday while responding questions on Channels tv.
In a chat with Ibrandtv reporter, Kayode Shopekan, on the reintroduction of toll plazas, a legal practitioner and political analyst, Mike Umonnan, described the plan as a callous decision on the part of the government as it would affect all of the citizenry, adding that every reasonable Nigerian should condemn it in totality.
Umonnan said, “Toll gates issue in this country was put to an end by the Obasanjo government, why is this government bent on reinstating it?. All I can see is that this government has decided to inflict pain on the people without blinking an eye and it is too bad.”
Human rights activist and social commentator, Chude Achike, remarked that government had set up toll gates in the past without results.
According to him the essence of setting up toll gates then was to generate revenue that will be used to finance road projects.
Reacting to the news, Achike said, “So, toll gates were erected in virtually every part of this country in the past. If you move from one state to another state, you would meet a toll gate, yet, virtually all the roads in the country were bad.
“The question that needs to be answered is, what happened to all the hundreds of millions and billions of naira generated from these toll gates back then, obviously they were mismanaged and stolen.
“So the toll gates have become a veritable source of graft and corruption in the country. Since Nigeria has not changed and corruption still thrives.”
Also lending his voice to the discourse, a lecturer at the University of Lagos and a former governorship candidate in Lagos under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Gabriel Adetokunbo Pearse, said the idea of collecting tolls and building road infrastructure was a welcomed development as the government needed money to carry out projects.
He however noted that such projects were mismanaged in the past.
Pearse, “believes the idea is a good one but it is coming at a wrong time, a time when the economy is already biting the citizens and Nigerians are angry over the fact that the cost of things in the country are extra-ordinarily expensive. This plan will further increase the pain and burden of the Nigerians”
In his opinion, he suggested that if the government wanted to do something good, they should end the ASUU strike, provide solid and dependable infrastructure, build institutions end corruption and insecurity, then Nigerians will be happy to listen to them