Uproar at Lagos Assembly over proposed toll on Lekki-Ikoyi bridge
There was uproar yesterday at the plenary session of the Lagos State House of Assembly, when a motion to approve the Concession Agreement for Electronic Tolling System (ETS) of the Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Bridge was moved by the leader of the House, Ajibayo Adeyeye.
Adeyeye, while moving the motion said, “that pursuant to the Lagos State Public Private Partnership Law, 2011, this House do resolve to approve the request for the ratification of the Electronic Tolling System Operations and Maintenance; Concession Terms and Conditions for the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge and approval of the fare regime, as forwarded by Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State.”
The motion had been seconded by the lawmaker representing Amuwo-Odofin 1, Sultan Adeniji-Adele and the Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji was about to approve it, when the Deputy Speaker, Taiwo Kolawole observed that the opinions of members were not sought by the Speaker. Ikuforiji conceded and gave members the opportunity to react to the proposal given by the state executive.
According to the proposal, a company under the name, Lagos Tolling Company had been registered to be in charge of the concession of the bridge.
The executive proposed that 73 per cent of the gross revenue from the tolling should go to the state government, while the remaining 27 per cent would go to the Lagos Tolling Company. The proposed toll rates are N250 for saloon cars; N300 for mini vans, Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and light pick-up trucks; N400 for non-commercial buses with a maximum sitting capacity of 26 persons; N100 for motorcycles with 200 engine capacity and above.
Some of the lawmakers while commenting on the proposal, wondered why toll fees should be collected on a one kilometer bridge.
According to Segun Olulade, member representing Epe Constituency 2, “I know it was part of Lagos State fund that was used to build the project. Must we always make the people pay for every service we provide? “ he queried.
Kolawole noted that the request of the government, as claimed in the proposal, was not in line with the 2011 Public-Private Partnership law.
He said: “As far as I am concerned, this has nothing to do with PPP law. This is not about provision of infrastructure because the bridge has already been constructed using the taxpayers’ money. So, why should we still toll a bridge that we have built with our money? Our consent should have been sought before the construction of tolling system or the bridge itself.”
They simply built it in anticipation that we will just approve it. For me, I don’t want to be part of this. In deciding this, we must look at the future and what happens when we are no longer on the floor of the Assembly,” Kolawole said.
The House, however, adjourned hearing on the matter while the bridge would be commissioned today by the state Governor, Babatunde Fashola.