SENATE also yesterday mandated its Committee on Works to carefully study the toll gate policy together with other relevant stakeholders on effective and efficient ways to carry out the policy aimed at producing a holistic package to generate funds for roads maintenance. The resolution followed a motion moved by Senator Suleiman Nazif on the need for the re-establishment‎ of toll gates on federal highways. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in December 2003 disbanded toll gates across the country. Obasanjo based his reason for scrapping the policy on claims that it had outlived its usefulness, also stating that the scheme was placing another financial burden on Nigerians who were also overburdened with other demands. The current move by the Senate is coming 10 months after it took a similar position in December 2015, when it passed a motion and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reintroduce toll gates across the country, in order to reduce the burdens on the roads. Explaining the need to reintroduce the scheme, Senator Nazif said‎ the purpose was to generate revenues which would aid effective and efficient maintenance of federal highways. He said the deplorable state of roads across the country had become a national shame and unnecessary embarrassment, noting that the re- establishment of toll gates would solve the problem of dilapidated road networks. “Beside revenue generation, the presence of toll gates which are normally managed by armed security agents, provides a level of safety for road users. The government cannot fund road construction alone. “The poor state of roads in Nigeria has remained for many years a great source of risk for travellers and transporters. Cases of road accidents being reported daily in the new media paint terrible and pathetic pictures of this ugly development,” he said.
All the lawmakers who contributed spoke in favour of the motion, saying the need for the reintroduction was timely. Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu who presided during plenary, also lauded the move, as he urged the Committee on Works to do a thorough job and report back as soon as possible so that lawmakers could take a position on the issue. …urge FG to include past leaders Pan-Africanism struggle in schools curriculum Also, worried that the struggle for the unity of Africa, as championed by the founding fathers of the continent like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others, has rapidly ‎evaporated from the psyche of the present and future generations of Nigerians, the Senate yesterday urged the federal government to include Pan- Africanism in Nigerian secondary schools curriculum. The plea by the Senate followed a motion moved by Senator Shehu Sani, tagged ‘Need to include Pan- Africanism in Nigerian Secondary
Schools Curriculum.’ Sani in his motion warned that if young Nigerians were not inspired about Africanism, the dream of the founding fathers about the unity of Africa would be a mere folktale and continue to remain a reference for historical purposes. He said: “Nigeria is the giant of Africa which has helped many African countries to attain self- rule. There is the need to inculcate the spirit of Pan-Africanism in the Nigerian child to be nurtured in a manner that we can continue to be our brothers’ keeper and foster the objective of our founding fathers. “We must ensure that we do not voluntarily surrender the dream of the founding fathers of Africa and considering the strategic importance of Nigeria in global affairs in general and Africa in particular.” At the end of the debate, lawmakers also urged the federal government to erect a mausoleum in the Federal Capital Territory in honour and memory of Pan Africanists and all who struggled for African unity and liberation.


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