April 1 Lekki Toll Reopening: Residents kick, as Lagos govt seeks ‘understanding’

Spread the love

Stakeholders have asked Lagos State government to halt the April 1 planned reopening of tolling of the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge by the Lekki Concession Company Limited, LCC.

This came as the state government urged residents and stakeholders around Lekki and Ikoyi to show understanding.

The appeal was made by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, and his Transportation counterparts, Dr. Fredericks Oladeinde as well as Home Affairs, Prince Anofi Elegushi.

They made the appeal during a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday at the Lekki Coliseum in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

They assured the residents of the state government’s willingness to look into all the requests and recommendations made by the stakeholders and respond appropriately.

Roll call

The meeting was attended by key stakeholders which included President of Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association, LERSA, Olorogun James Emadoye; human rights activists, the media and several other residents of Lekki, among others.    

Responding to the key stakeholders who expressed their views about the LCC decision to reopen the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza in April, Omotoso commended the speakers and implored them to show some understanding.

He said: “We are here to seek your understanding as a government about the matter at hand.

“We are also citizens of Nigeria. We are all Lagosians. I have listened to all of you talking about our rights, privileges and how government should be responsible for everything.

“I also feel that, as citizens, we should have some responsibilities.

“Lagos is a city of about 25 million people and out of the 25 million people there are about six million taxpayers and among six million taxpayers, only 4.2 million are active taxpayers. 

“So, let us reflect on all these things. I know how people feel and I understand what has been said.

“But I believe that the matter at hand is about seeking your understanding.

“It is a matter of showing some compassion for people who have one thing or  another to do with this company.”

We want to create jobs — Govt

On the plea to halt the tolling, Omotoso appealed to the residents to consider the number of Lagosians, whose sources of livelihood also depend on the tollgate. 

Dr. Oladeinde, who also appealed to the people not to be shortsighted, said the decision of the government is not to punish people, but to create an enabling environment for more jobs through private sector participation.

“What Lagos State is trying to do is to create an enabling environment for more jobs. 

“We should not be shortsighted. The only way to create jobs is to create an environment where we can attract the private sector to build more infrastructure in the state.

“Let us look at the issue from the view that we are trying to resuscitate the economy of Lagos State,” he said.  

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofi Elegushi, said the purpose of the meeting was to engage key stakeholders on the matter of reopening the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza.

He appealed for cooperation from the people, saying “we must all work together.”

LCC          

The Managing Director/CEO of Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC), Mr. Yomi Omomuwasan, said the resumption of operations was necessary for the company not to default on its payment of local and international loans as well as to cater for the welfare of its workers.

He said LCC had also introduced new technology and innovations to make movement at the Toll Plaza seamless and faster for commuters.

The tolling was stopped in the wake of the shootings of October 20, 2020 at Lekki Tollgate.

Youths, who were calling for fundamental changes by the Federal government, were protesting under the #Endsars campaign movement.

On that day, soldiers opened fire on national anthem-singing and flag-waving youths.

Residents kick

Meanwhile, at the Wednesday meeting, residents expressed their views about the plan to reopen the toll plaza, urging the state government to halt the process for now.

The residents based their demand on the harsh economic situation in the country, saying that the tolling would aggravate the situation. 

Meanwhile, LCC had stated that tolling will kick off officially on April 1, but that motorists will be given a two-week free access at the toll plaza. 

According to Omomuwasan, payments for access will start on the April 14.

Source: Vanguard

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.