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LEKKI-IKOYI LINK BRIDGE: LAGOS DON SUSPEND PLAN OF TOLLING COLLECTION INDEFINITELY.
Lagos State Government, in collaboration with Lekki Concession Company Limited, LCC, don suspend resumption date of toll collection wey dey Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza indefinitely.
Dem be earlier scheduled to begin for April 16, 2022.
Meanwhile, after several engagement with dem critical stakeholders, LCC decide say dem go shift di resumption date of toll collection for di Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza, till further notice.
According to a statement wey dey signed by di Managing Director of LCC, wey be Yomi Omomuwasa wey Dem make available to newsmen for Friday, di company don decide to delay the resumption of toll collection for further consultations with key stakeholders for the Eti-Osa, Lekki area, in a bid to take address dia concerns and arrive for a mutually(agreed) favourable resolution of all issues.
Besides, dey necessary to take give customers more time to register for di electronic devices.
Di statement read in part: “As a responsible organization, we must take full cognizance of everyone wey dey within the axis.
“Therefore, we want to continue with di ongoing engagements with our stakeholders dem.
“Di preparatory operations to resume tolling on di Bridge have been smooth so far, and we are grateful to all di key stakeholders for their cooperation.
“Di commencement (start) of toll collection don dey postponed, e go allow more of our customers to register for the electronic toll devices to take enable seamless passages for the toll plaza.”
Dis development dey come after series of meetings for last week between the management of LCC and key stakeholders, including residents’ associations.
Sanwo-Olu, while e dey agree on di concessions, however, ask for cooperation and understanding from residents and stakeholders for di meantime.
Di governor speak for one meeting with di stakeholders on di resumption of tolling at Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge and Lekki-Epe Expressway at Lagos House, Marina.
Personalities for the meeting, include: leaders of di Lekki Residents Association, LERA, Lekki Residents and Stakeholders Association,LERSA.
While government representatives, be Mr. Governor, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, Lekki Concession Company, LCC Managing Director, Yomi Omomuwasan and LCC Board member Obafemi George.
Also for fi meeting dey: President of LERSA, Olorogun James Emadoye, Vice President of LERSA, Arc. O.P.A. Ladega, Financial Secretary, LERSA, Mr. Keji Olajide, Director of Stakeholders Engagements, LERSA, Mrs. Chika Allison-Idalah, Chairman of Infrastructure Committee, LERSA, Sulyman Bello, Chairman of Lekki Phase 1 Estate Residents Association, Mr. Yomi Idowu, Mr. Sony Irabor, Mr. Demola Folarin, Mr. Seni Adio,, Mrs. Eniola, and Mr. Paul Kogoro, all of LERA.
During Di session wey last for several hours, di guests explain dia position ontop di matter and demand for some concessions.
Di governor, don listen to each speaker, agreed to make some concessions after showing evidence of LCC’s financial situation and why tolling should resume at the plaza.
Omotoso, speaking on di development, add say di “LCC management go soon dey announce details of di concessions, as dem dey follow Mr Governor’s directive.”
Dem suspend di toll in di wake of #EndSARS protest when soldiers for attempt to disperse (clear) protesters for di Lekki-Epe Toll Gate, on October 20, 2020, shoot live bullets into di crowd of protesters wey be say unspecified number of people, dem kill dem and several others sustained wound.
However, following months of engagement with key stakeholders dem, within Eti-Osa /Lekki-Epe area, management of LCC bin don officially announced di formal return to tolling operations for Friday, April 1, 2022 for di Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza.
However, LCC confirm say Di toll payment no go commence until April 16, 2022.
One statement by Omomuwasan, read in part: “LCC don be a worthy part of di Eti-Osa/ Lekki-Epe ecosystem and he don serve di community relentlessly and to di best of its ability over di years.
“We dey encouraged by di response and di cooperation wey we receive from di vast majority of residents and stakeholders wey appreciate di value we dey bring to bear on dia daily movement and continue to register for (or update ) dia toll accounts go dey ready for di commencement of cashless toll collection. All di points wey dem make for di engagements don dey well taken.
“Whilst LCC dey aware of the concerns expressed by some stakeholders wey regard di return to tolling, na common knowledge say the government not it, on e own, meet all the infrastructural need of di ever-growing population.
“Given say di funding for the project bin dey secured by the initial private sector sponsors and contracts bin dey signed with various local and international financial institutions, in the spirit of respecting di sanctity of contracts, the Lagos State Government dey continue to meet these obligations dem when dem bring over di shares of LCC, as dem take over both di assets and liabilities.
“To fit ensure smooth return, LCC don deploy new and more efficient technology for the Ikoyi Bridge Toll Plaza. Therefore, to take test run di new system and also ensure a seamless interface with road users dem, di first two weeks go dey completely toll – free.
“LCC still remain committed to provide safer and better driving experience on di Ikoyi Link Bridge.”
Also, Earlier, Lekki residents, under di aegis of Lekki Peninsula Phase 1 Residents Association, bin don write the Governor of Lagos State, wey Babajide Sanwo-Olu, say me e suspend di plan to resume toll for Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and di Lekki-Epe Expressway.
For open letter to di governor and sign by di Chairman of di association, wey Yomi Idowu, di residents raise socio-economic reason and other critical issue wey dey yet to be addressed wey make di decision to take recommence tolling unjust, oppressive, and illegal.
Di letter read in part: “We view with deep concern and trepidation di less than transparent attempt to take recommence tolling activity for di Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, even as matter relate to di #EndSARS protest, wey lead to the termination(cut) of tolling activity in di first place, and e still never Dey settle. Di issue dey compounded by di myriad of issue bedeviling Di rationale to toll for Dis location.
“E dey against di backdrop say di Lekki Phase 1 Residents Association (LERA) ask say make di Lagos State Government (LASG) apply wisdom and shelve(hold) plans to take resume toll collection for the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.”
LERA further maintain say someissues of pending court matter; ownership questions and lack of transparency; underdevelopment of di Lekki-Epe corridor; and justice for #ENDSARS victims, wey dem never address yet by the government, e make di recommencing of the toll illegal.
On di pending court matter, LERA argue say “the Lekki Concession Company Limited, LCC and Lagos Goverment don continue to use di instrumentality of d law courts to foist hardship for our community.
The letter read: “We recall say the Federal High Court in Lagos don for recent past effectively declared say di tolling of di Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge dey illegal and unconstitutional. Lagos State Government characteristically secured one order of stay of execution for di ground say dem don appeal the court’s decision but has so far don fail to prosecute the subject appeal.
“With dis Sword of Damocles hanging over our community, we expect say Lagos State Government go pursue di best interest of di citizenry rather say dem go dey use the machinery of the state against law-abiding citizens.
“Rather than work to seek peace, the State dey actively work through LCC to inflict and force more suffering and hardship on di citizens. Na within this context wey we understand say protests dey planned under the banner #NoJusticeNoToll. If di
protests happen, the residents and businesses in Lekki go dey the most affected,” LERA said.
“Your Excellency, we feel say e dey expedient to bring all di above to your attention and to particularly note say the general mood of the people suggests be say make LCC should refrain from collecting tolls at Di Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and the Lekki-Epe Expressway until the fundamental issues don dey addressed. To do otherwise will be to needlessly stoke di tension wey go affect di nation.
“We beg Your Excellency to act to exercise maximum restraints(stop) for dis point and to immediately suspend dis plan to resume di tolling for the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge in the overriding interest of peace and order in our community.”