LCC resumes tolling on Lekki Toll Gate amid resistance
Lekki Concession Company (LCC) on Friday resumed tolling on Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge in Lagos State.
The company said toll payment will not resume until Saturday, 16 April.
“Whilst LCC aware of the concerns by some stakeholders regarding the return to tolling, it is common knowledge that the government cannot, on its own, meet all the infrastructural needs of the ever-growing population,” LCC CEO Yomi Omomuwasan said.
The Lekki Toll gate is reopening days after LCC had a meeting with Lekki communities and residents.
Omomuwasan said the company was encouraged by the responses from “vast majority of residents and stakeholders”. But Nigerian skit maker Debo Adedayo known as Mr. Macaroni who was present at the meeting said residents opposed the opening of the toll plaza.
“All of us present here have spoken! And not one resident is in support of tolling,” Adedayo tweeted on Wednesday.
The toll plaza was closed after October 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality.
The Lekki toll plaza on Lekki-Epe Expressway served as the ground zero for the protesters. An attack by Nigerian security agents on the unarmed protesters forced the closure of the two tolling plazas.
A report by the Lagos State judicial panel in November 2021 proposed that the Lekki toll plaza be made a memorial site for the #EndSARS protest and renaming the plaza as #EndSARS Tollgate.
“The panel recommends that October 20th of every year, the day is made a ‘Toll Free Day’ at the Lekki Toll Gate as long as the tollgate exists,” the panel report said.
In mid March 2022, LCC announced plans to resume tolling on the plaza but was opposed by many Nigerian youths who continued to insist that protesters were killed while waving the Nigerian flag and singing the national anthem during the protest.
“The timing is wrong, The people are going through a lot of hardship at the moment,” Adedayo said, referencing rising inflation, hike in fuel prices and lack of electricity in Nigeria at the time.
“We hope the Lagos state government will do the right thing here and suspend the resumption of Tolling.”
There are plans by some groups to protest against the resumed tolling.
READ MORE: LCC to resume tolling on Lekki Toll Gate
An aide to Lagos State governor Jubril Gawat tweeted that “security operatives remain alert” as “officers of LCC (are) doing their duties peacefully”.
“Area Calm and everything is peaceful,” Gawat said.
Lagos police commissioner Abiodun Akabi warned against protests at the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge link.
Alabi said protesting at the tollgate is capable of grounding commercial activities in the area and obstructing the flow of traffic.
The police chief advised Nigerians to go about their lawful duties without fear of harassment and intimidation because the force will ensure the safety of lives and property.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.