The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has reiterated the need for harmonisation of Federal Highways laws rather than having many laws that conflict with one another, adding that this will reduce governance cost.
Fashola said this at a public hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Works at the National Assembly to welcome people’s participation in legislative processes.
The Minister while welcoming the idea of road laws, stressed that there is need to institutionalize the existing infrastructural laws to pave way for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders that will lead to maintenance of existing infrastructure, adding that awareness must be created and people must be properly informed that roads start depreciating from the day it was built, and as such it is important to enact laws that will guarantee the life span of the Federal roads.
He said tolling policy is not new in Nigeria but it was stopped and for the policy to be re-introduced, two important factors must be considered otherwise all efforts will prove abortive. These two factors according to Fashola have to do with the ways the court grant injunctions and the utterances of the politicians during campaigns. He added that no serious businessman will want to invest his fortune in an environment where his investment will not be protected.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Senate Committee Chairman on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya reiterated the need for public hearing. According to him the public hearing is organized to speedy up the bills before the Senate as well as having public inputs in line with democratic norms and values.
He said the Bills for public hearing are: An act to Repeal the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act 2007 and to Re-Enact the Federal Roads Authority Bill, 2015; A Bill for An Act to establish the Infrastructure Development Commission, the Repeal of the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission and the Re-Enated of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Regulatory Commission and A motion on the Need for the Establishment of Toll Gates on Federal Highways.
The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, while declaring the public hearing open, reiterated the importance of public hearing to National Assembly as it will afford the public the opportunity to contribute to law making.
He commended the Senate Committee on Works for organizing the public hearing as well as appreciating the collaboration between the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Works.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Toby Okechukwu said that Nigerians stand to benefit from these bills when they are passed into laws.
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