A group Eti-Osa People’s Movement (EOPM) has said it only not pay the toll at the Ikoyi-Lekki Bridge Toll Plaza but that it will mobilise residents and commuters not to pay the “wicked and obnoxious toll”.
The group in a statement signed by Ayo Ademiluyi and Binzak Azeez, protem Chairman and Secretary respectively say there was no iota of truth in the assertion by Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC) that it had months of engagement with key stakeholders within Eti-Osa /Lekki-Epe area,
“We make bold to state that the only Stakeholders’ Town Hall Meeting open to all was the Lekki Stakeholders’ Town Hall Meeting held at Lekki Coliseum on Wednesday, 30th March 2022.
“We assert further that the Lekki Stakeholders’ Town Hall Meeting was to present Residents and Stakeholders with a “fait accompli” of an April 1st, 2022 resumption of Tolling at the Ikoyi-Lekki Link Bridge”.
While pointing out that they reject what they describe as the “Greek Gift of non-commencement of tolling until 16th April 2022”, the EOPM members say they also reject the position of LCC that the “Toll Plaza has been a worthy part of the Eti-Osa/ Lekki-Epe ecosystem”. The group maintains that the return of toll will further compound the endemic traffic on the Lekki-Epe Expressway and make life unbearable for the Ikoyi-Lekki commuters.
While expressing its disagreement with the position of LCC that “it is common knowledge that the government cannot, on its own, meet all the infrastructural needs of the ever-growing population”, the group pose the following questions:1. What happened to the investment of the Lagos State Government into the Concession Agreement with the Lekki Concession Agreement?2. Why did the Lagos State Government engage in debt buyback of the Lekki Concession Company in 2011? Is it the case that LCC has become non-profitable?3. How was the Twenty-Four Billion Naira (N24,000,000,000.00) only indebtedness of Lekki Concession Company spent?4. Why is the LCC inclined to return to tolling with Lagos State Government’s 75 per cent acquisition of holding in LCC and the high IGR of Lagos State Government which is more than the GDP of 5 neighbouring West African countries and 11 states of Nigeria?
EOPM also queried the position of LCC that “given that the funding for the project was secured by the initial private sector sponsors and contracts were signed with various local and international financial institutions, in the spirit of respecting the sanctity of contracts, the Lagos State Government continues to meet these obligations when it bought over the shares of LCC, thereby taking over both the assets and liabilities”, even as they say this further provoke more questions1. Why does the Lagos State Government continue to bear indebtedness for a non-profitable enterprise, if at all?2. Who are the holders of the 25 per cent private equity in the Lekki Concession Company?
“We recall that under cross-examination by the counsel to the #EndSARS protesters at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters that investigated the Lekki Massacre of 20th October 2022, Mr Yomi Omomuwasan, MD/ CEO LCC did not provide these details. The whole world deserves to know”, the group stated.