Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has directed that the issuance of permits to erect structures on right of ways on federal highways should no longer be granted.
Fashola also instructed federal controllers of works to ensure the removal of all obstructions on right of ways in order to promote safety and prevent economic losses on the roads.
The minister, who disclosed this during a meeting in Abuja with Federal Controllers of Works and Sector Commanders of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, stressed that there would be no renewal for those who already have such structures on the highways.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Hakeem Bello, quoted Fashola as saying, “While those with permits would be allowed to stay till its expiration, those with no permit should immediately leave the right of way.’’
Expressing dismay at the ease with which the permits are issued in the name of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, Fashola told the controllers, “Our first step is how to secure our right of way back.
“The right of way is 45 metres from the centre line, roads are built to move human beings, goods and services with ease, if otherwise, are we not defeating the purpose we set out to achieve?” he asked.
Fashola noted that activities on the right of ways create traffic jam, thereby delaying food transporters and consequently leads to a hike in prices.
The minister said, however, that although it is in the interest of the government to clear the right of way, there are no suggestions to start breaking the structures currently on ground.
“There is an enlightenment process that we must pursue in doing this. But we must plan it together.
“So anybody who is still renewing is looking for trouble for himself. The ones that have no permits then we tell them to go.
“We have notified the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to stop issuing permits for petrol stations on right of ways.” He said, adding that they are important, but should not be built on right of ways.
Fashola, who said the enforcement of the ban would need the cooperation of state governments and FRSC, told them, “You must know the number of roads under you and in how many local governments and how many people.
“You should know how many of your right of ways are obstructed. You need to have that data; you must file that report; is it 10 percent, 20 percent or 80 percent? Which one has the heaviest traffic that we may have to attend to quickly?” he explained.

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