Osu Asks FG To Punish Ex-Tollgates' Operators

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The Director of Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, on Monday, urged the Federal Government to fish out and punish those who mismanaged former tollgates before erecting new ones.

Osu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such action would deter the misuse of the new tollgates being planned for the country in 2012.

According to him, the planned return of the tollgates is in the right direction and a good step towards the rehabilitation of roads.

“Ordinarily, one will not complain; it should be a welcome idea all over civilized world. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case, and our situation is one step forward, 20 steps backward.

“Tollgate is not new to us but because of the wrong use of whatever money they got, no accountability; they didn’t use it to repair the roads, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at least is a classical example.”

Monsignor Osu said those who managed the tollgates in the past did not use monies realised to maintain the roads, which he said, became death traps.

“They didn’t maintain the roads, the roads were death traps. Money was going to private pockets. I know they instituted probes, no head, no tail, nobody is guilty, nobody has been caught and nobody has done anything.”

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He said there was no accountability in the past and this must not continue when the tollgates return in 2012.

He said if the new tollgates would not be properly managed, government should not waste time and money rebuilding them.

“There must be accountability. Even if you franchise it out, they must have agreement with and make sure that things go right. We’ve had it before; the problem is still lack of accountability, irresponsibility and bad managers.

“If we can be assured that that will not repeat itself, well, but if it is going to be the same story why wasting our time, money and energy,” he asked.

Osu called on the government to revisit the probe set up on the running of the former tollgates and punish those who ran them  down if Nigeria must not repeat the mistakes of the past.

“But they should still reflect on the last tollgate. I know there were probes. Who were those who benefited from it? Who were those who did nonsense to it? These are all the things we want to know and they must be punished or the money returned, if not, I am sure we might run the risk of repeating the same thing,” he said.

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