An expert in estate development, Mr My-Ace China says collection of toll on the nation’s highways is key to sustainable road maintenance and infrastructure.
China, the Managing Director, the Housing and Construction Mayor Ltd., made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that engaging tolling companies that would collect tolls and use it to maintain the roads would solve the problem of deplorable roads.
“You know we have a very poor infrastructure framework in Nigeria. I’m a big fan of self-sustaining solutions. So, I think it’s high time we began to look at toll gates.
“I believe that if we can have toll companies that take responsibility of maintaining these roads and hold them responsible for the maintenance, it will help Nigeria in terms of road maintenance.
“Because a case where our roads and infrastructural system is dependent on the personal idiosyncrasies of the persons in government is defective.
“If somebody comes into government and he doesn’t feel like taking care of the road, there is no structure to hold him or her responsible.’’
The expert said there should be an institutional framework to hold government responsible for road failures.
According to him, an institution or body should be established with the power to hire and fire companies that do not live up to expectations, such institution should be answerable to the government.
China said that a situation where government had the sole responsibility of building and maintaining roads was not sustainable.
“When there is a framework on ground and private investors are allowed to manage the roads by collecting tolls and give account to government, this will make or roads durable.
“The government now holds the private firm responsible when they fail, I believe the roads should be decentralised from the government, put a more proactive measure be in place,’’ China said.
He stressed that just like in the real estate sector, private investors should be given a free hand to handle road maintenance.
China observed all the estates built by private estate owners had good roads.
“Just as you have in the real estate sector, most of the private estates have roads and because we are the ones managing those roads, they are always in good conditions.
“If they are not, the residents of those estates have the right to hold the real estate developers or management responsible and the roads are maintained because people pay for to drive on them.
“In the same vein, the roads across the country can be managed but there must be close monitoring so that citizens would not be over taxed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that recently, the Federal Government had announced that it would reintroduce toll collections on some selected dual carriage highways across the country.
The dual carriageways represent 5,050 km out of the total 35,000 km. (NAN