…As Fashola says multiple laws discourages investors

As the nation’s roads continue to  dilapidate, it was revealed yesterday that a whopping sum of N3 trillion is need to put the roads in good condition.

This was disclosed by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) on Monday in Abuja during a public hearing in the House of Representatives by its Committee on Work, chaired by Toby Okechukwu.

The President of COREN, Kasim Ali noted the serious road infrastructural deficit, that require  large amount of money to bring them up to date.

COREN President, who disclosed this in the position paper submitted at the public hearing on the repeal of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act N7 LFN 2002 and to establish the Federal Roads Authority bill, 2016 and National Roads Fund Establishment bill, expressed support for the proposed Bill

He noted that the current institutional framework for the management and funding of roads in Nigeria is outdated and inappropriate and needs to be reformed, stressing the need for sustainable funding mechanism of road projects in the country.

Ali said: “Establishment of the National Roads Fund which will be repository for revenues accruing from road-user related charges for financing, development, rehabilitation, maintenance and other activities related to the provision of national roads will promote an effective road management system in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Works, Lands and Housing, Babatunde Fashola pointed out that
multiple laws and regulatory agencies will discourage investors.

Applauding the initiative, the Minister called for consolidation of the five legislative framework regulating the road sectors into one.

He argued that the proposed legislation should help in improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria by eliminating various bottlenecks that could hamper private sector investment.

Fashola, however  stressed the need for upward review of the sanctions that will serve as deterrent to violators, adding that such sanction should be cheaper to comply rather than cheaper to violate.

He advised
Politicians to desist from making political statements that could scare investors by revoking concession agreements if their political parties are voted into power.

While the Director General of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Jonathan Juma said that the sum of $2 billion is required by federal government to kick-start a massive rehabilitation of federal roads across the country, as a prelude to the introduction of user charges including toll gates, the Senate Chairman Committee on Works, Sen.
Kabiru Gaya,  disclosed that the Lagos-Ibadan expressway needs N150 billion to be completed while Abuja Kano expressway required N130 billion to be completed, hence the need for private sector funding.

Juma explained that the introduction of the user charges will generate 250,000 workers annually in the construction and allied sector, provide 10,000 jobs in e-ticketing and IT support infrastructure.

Kabiru, however lambasted the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for failing to remit the five percent pump price levy worth N771 billion accrued since 2007 to government coffer as provided by the FERMA Act which was amended in 2007.

He said that the sum of N536 billion accrued from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); N174 billion from AGO were to be shared on the basis of 60% to Federal Road Agency and 40 percent to State Governments for road maintenance.

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