The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has on Tuesday, December 8, while unveiling his plans lavished encomium on one of the achievements of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Fashola said this on Tuesday in Abuja during his first news conference tagged “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change”.
Speaking on Federal Government plans to re-introduce highway tolling to raise additional funds to finance road infrastructure and ensure efficient road maintenance, he said that Goodluck Jonathan has constructed more roads than any president ever in Nigeria.
He also acknowledged that the Transformation in the power sector is above 50 % and that he would try to build on it.
Fashola disclosed that adequate funding of the nation’s road infrastructure would generate job opportunities and reduce unemployment in the country.
“Maintenance would be our watchword. We are setting up a robust maintenance regime to keep our highways in good shape.
“This shows that tolling is necessary to support government funding. So, it will not be too much if we ask every road user to pay little to augment government funding for road maintenance.
“It is eminent commonsense for us to find that money. We will use technology; so if we don’t pay cash, you will pay by tokens or tickets and the money is accountable and it will go to the right place.
“We will manage that fund properly and we will hold those who we put there to account,” the minister said.
He urged persons infringing on the right of way to voluntarily dismantle the inappropriate structures before the government commenced the demolition of such structures.
“In order to make the roads safer, we intend to re-claim the full width of all Federal roads, representing 16 per cent and about 36,000km of Nigeria’s road network.
“We are immediately now asking all those who are infringing on our highways, whether by parking, trading, or erection of any inappropriate structure to immediately remove, relocate or dismantle such things voluntarily.
“This will be the biggest contribution that citizens can offer our country as proof that we all want things to change for the better,” the minister said.