As Federal Government contemplates the reintroduction of toll gates on highways across the country, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the federal government to handover the projects to credible companies with the capacity for regular maintenance of roads.
The Governor, who made the call on Tuesday in Asaba at the quarterly media briefing, noted that the federal government was evidently overwhelmed by the extent to which the roads were failing across the country.
He pointed out that the nation’s economy was dwindling, with increasing competing demands, which had made the reintroduction of toll gates on motorable roads inevitable.
Okowa said the toll gates should be given to competent companies to manage and the money to be realized ploughed back to the maintenance of the roads bearing the toll gates.
He averred that it was cheaper to pay for tolls on good roads than spend money on maintenance of cars, with the attendant delays and inconveniences occasioned by bad roads.
The Governor said it would have been better for the federal government to either fix the roads or make refunds when states chose to rehabilitate the roads.
He disclosed that his administration was working to give a boost to tourism, as well as focusing on initiatives that would encourage the people to improve on activities that would make life more meaningful to families.
Okowa stated that government was looking forward to building a Pleasure Park on the Ugbolu-Asaba road, and also setting up a Film Village to encourage budding artistes, as Asaba had become the hub for movie locations.
The Governor said the new Secretariat Complex, one of the biggest in the country, being built in Asaba, was coming on strong and expressed satisfaction with the pace of work on the project, which on completion would provide reasonable office accommodation for workers.
On the storm drainage project, Okowa said it was going on in a more limited way due to the rains, even as he noted that with what had been achieved so far on the project flooding had largely been contained in Asaba.
He said before the end of the year, work would commence in two critical phases on the Warri/Uvwie Storm Drainage project.