The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected plans by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to return toll gates in the country. The federal government had on Wednesday announced it was returning toll gates on federal highways in the country, saying there was no law against it.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated this while briefing State House Correspondents after the weeklyFederal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fashola said that government was also considering to eliminate payment of cash by introducing electronic mode of payment.
The Minister further disclosed that government needed to acquire more lands to expand the width of the toll gates as it proposed to have a ten lane.
But reacting in a statement obtained by Igbere TV, the opposition PDP said such idea, in the midst of ‘economic hardship’, is completely “ill-conceived”
The statement signed by the party's national publicity secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said such move would only lead to increments in price of goods and services.
The PDP, therefore, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind the decision in the best interest of Nigerians.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vehemently rejects plans by President Muhammadu Buhari to return toll gates on highways in the country.
“The party laments that such insensitive idea, in the midst of excruciating economic hardship and high costs of living occasioned by the incompetence and harsh policies of the Buhari administration,
is completely ill-conceived and anti-people.
“The PDP insists that at best, such idea amounts to executive bullying which cannot be justified under any guise as it will lead to more increase in costs of goods and services across the country.
“Only recently, President Buhari approved the increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.2% despite outcry by Nigerians, who are also being made to pay exorbitant tariffs for electricity and other essential services.
“Since President Buhari came into office in 2015, his administration had continued to increase prices and impose all manner of levies on Nigerians which proceeds are being frittered by the cabal in the presidency leading to a bleeding economy and despondency among the citizenry.
“The PDP says that instead of putting more pressure on already impoverished Nigerians by introducing toll gates at this point in time, President Buhari should exert himself, seek ways of creating wealth out of the abundant resources at the disposal of his administration or make haste to surrender the reign of governance to more competent hands.
“Nigerians could recall that the PDP administration,
in keeping with our determination to ensure the wellbeing and economic prosperity of our citizens, dismantled toll gates, cut tax profiles and applied our energies towards wealth creation.
“It is therefore certain that if our nation were under a PDP administration,
as desired by Nigerians, competent hands would have been on the deck to proffer ways to create wealth for governance instead of turning our citizens into vassals who are overburdened by heavy taxes.
“The PDP states that it is lamentable that at the time Nigerians ought to be enjoying the benefits of the Atiku Abubakar economic recovery and wealth creation blueprint, they are faced with suppressive policies.
“The PDP therefore charges President Buhari to immediately rescind the decision to return toll gates on our highways as such is not in the best interest of Nigerians.”