Not less than N27 billion is extorted from motorists every year by security and traffic agencies in check points and illegal stands in various roads across the country, a Professor of Transportation Economics, Peter Siyan, has said.
Prof. Siyan, who made this known while delivering the 23rd Inaugural Lecture of University of Abuja, said the money from the incessant road blockages continues to go into private pockets, stressing that such huge amount was enough to build reasonable length of roads and bridges.
His words: “There is incessant road blockages and extortion of drivers by security and traffic agencies ( Armed Police, Nigerian Army, Road Safety, Vehicle Inspection Officers, Custom Officers and of recent Nigerian Civil Defence Corps) in the name of checkpoints and illegal stands for extortions.
“From sampled studies, averaging 1.5million vehicles made up of tankers, commercial and private buses and cars, they lose an average of N50 per vehicle (in a day), making a whopping sum of N75 million going into personal coffers. This will amount to N2.25 billion per month and N27 billion per annum.”
According to Prof. Siyan, who spoke on the topic, “Economics of Nigeria’s Haemorrhagic Roads: Probable Cure in Sight,” the country has suffered from the ailment of bad governance, corruption and insecurity since independence in 1960 “which has put our transportation sector in a state of despair and at best described as death traps.”
He, however, called for a massive investment in transportation infrastructures, improvement on existing policies as well as a well-developed transportation system with adequate access to cities and hinterlands, the introduction of road tolls, among others, to address the nation’s transportation problems.
In a remark, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Michael Adikwu, who was represented by his deputy (Administration), Prof. Muhammadu Katcha, commended Prof. Siyan for the thought-provoking lecture, saying that the institution would not relent in its effort to proffer solution to the challenges facing the society through thorough researches.