The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has opposed Nigerian government’s plan to reintroduce toll gates, saying it a sign of desperation by the federal government to raise money at all cost.
The general secretary of NLC, Emmanuel Ugboaja, made the statement on Friday, adding that it is not a welcome development.
Mr Ugboaja lamented that the development would only put extra pressure on the ordinary people and worsen the poverty level.
He noted that Nigerian roads are bad and wondered why government intends to toll bad roads.
“The roads are in very bad shape across the country, how can you toll a bad road?” he queried.
“If you have fixed the roads and you now talk of tolling to recoup the money spent and to generate money to maintain the roads, people could consider it.
“But now, it is unacceptable because roads have remained the only means for transportation for humans, goods and services because the rails are not working.
“Ordinary Nigerians who have been overburdened will be forced to bear the extra burden the reintroduction of the toll gates will bring,” he stated.
He said: “If people can travel from Lagos to Port Harcourt in less than seven hours, travel from Lagos to Benin City in three hours on road, or from Abuja to Lagos, to Port Harcourt in less than seven hours on a smooth road, when you talk about tolling, people will listen.”
“Unfortunately, the roads are in terrible conditions. It is unacceptable because it will bring nothing but more misery to the ordinary man.”
Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had kicked against plans by the federal government to return toll gates on highways in the country, saying such idea is insensitive due to the economic hardship and high cost of living.
The opposition party made its position known in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, on October 2.