Lekki residents under the aegis of the Lekki Estates Residents & Stakeholders Association on Wednesday rejected the resumption of tolling at the Ikoyi Link Bridge.
The General Secretary of the association, Gbemi Adelekan, told The PUNCH that the residents rejected the planned resumption of tolling on Wednesday when the stakeholders met with the Lekki Concession Company Limited, the operators of the Ikoyi Link Bridge and the Admiralty Circle Plaza.
The two toll gates were epicentres of the nationwide EndSARS protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in October 2020 when soldiers allegedly shot harmless protesters dead and allegedly injured scores of other young demonstrators.
LCC Managing Director, Yomi Omomuwasan, had invited the stakeholders to a meeting yesterday at Lekki Coliseum which was well-attended by concerned residents ahead of the planned resumption of tolling at the Ikoyi Link Bridge starting from April 1, 2022.
But LERSA insisted that the resumption of tolling would aggravate the sufferings of Lekki residents.
The association also said it had written a letter to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to express its displeasure over the planned resumption of tolling at the bridge.
The letter dated March 27, 2022 and sighted by The PUNCH was titled, ‘Position Of Lekki Residents On The Planned Reintroduction Of Tolling’.
It read, “Over the past few months, citizens have faced substantial challenges in the country and for us in Lekki, where we provide all habitable amenities, life has been most difficult. The additional hardship faced by residents of Lekki as a result of hours spent in traffic and the lack of adequate alternative road network, coupled with the increase in energy prices, continue to make living in this part of the state, extremely unbearable.
“Mr Governor sir, out of about 1,300km of state roads in Lagos, the Link Bridge is just about 1.5km, and the Lekki-Epe road is about 27km constructed so far. The residents of Lekki find it difficult to understand why tolling should resume on the 1.5km Ikoyi Link Bridge considering the state of the nation.
“Your excellency, graciously permit us to exemplify our fears as follows, for a couple living off Freedom way, Lekki 1, husband working in Obalende and wife working on Osborne Road, Ikoyi. Husband SUV @ N400 per trip (Return) a day 30 days a month total N24,000, Wife with a Toyota Corolla @250 per trip (Return) a day 30 days a month total N15,000. Family annual budget for tolling N468,000. We believe this is extremely unfair to us in Lekki.
“We are aware that other infrastructure in other parts of the State were also funded through borrowing. We therefore do not understand why Lekki people must be the people to pay construction debts through tolling. We therefore implore the State Government to reconsider the decision to reopen tolling.
“We pray that Government will have a rethink on this matter and listen to the yearnings of residents and Road Users to rescind the toll payment that LCC is planning to perpetuate on peaceful, long-suffering taxpayers of this axis. We are also calling for an enlarge stakeholders’ meetings to provide opportunity for a proper reevaluation of this matter.”