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After increase in VAT, Nigerians to pay for using federal roads
WEEKS after the Value Added Tax (VAT) has been increased to 7.5 per cent , the Federal Government is planning to return toll fees back to federal roads.
Minister of Housing and Works, Bababtunde Raji Fashola alongside the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed announced that the Federal Government are concluding plans to establish cashless payment in toll plazas during a State House briefing at the end of Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja before leaving for South Africa.
Fashola was quoted saying, “There is no reason why we can’t toll, there was a policy of the government to abolish tolls or as it were, dismantle toll plaza but there is no law that prohibits tolling in Nigeria today. We expect to return toll plazas, we have concluded their designs of what they will look like, what materials they will be built with, what new considerations must go into them”.
He added that the government is working on acquiring more lands as the tolls are proposed to be about ten lanes.
Fashola noted that as other logistics are being worked on, the Federal Government are trying to conclude plans on how the back end runs and that the government is also considering to eliminate the payment of cash by introducing electronic mode of payment.
This came barely a month after the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in a news report announced that the Federal Government would increase Value Added Tax to meet the new minimum wage obligation.
“This is important because the Federal Government only retains 15 per cent of the VAT, 85 per cent is actually for the states and local governments to enable them to meet the obligations of the minimum wage,” the minister had said.
Fashola also stated during the FEC meeting on Wednesday that the government has approved additional N15.765 billion for Suleja-Minna-Lambata road and Ibadan-Lagere-Ilesa bypass.
He said the two road contracts approved on Wednesday came after another review of the initially approved amount for the bill.
On the 101km Suleja-Minna-Lambata road, he said FEC on Wednesday approved additional N12.6 billion and N3.165 billion for the Ibadan-Lagere-Ilesa bypass.