The Lekki Estate Residents and Stakeholders Association, LERSA, a pressure group of 74 Estates and 18 villages in Eti Osa, Ajah and Epe, agitating against the collection of tolls by the Lagos State government and LCC for using the Lekki-Epe Expressway have reinstated their stand to resist the proposed toll collection on the highway.

They also added that they would not surrender the future of their children and the generation yet unborn to a few people who are bent on enslaving them for life.  Toll collection has been temporarily suspended by the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola due to protests by residents.

In a press statement signed by the group’s publicity secretary, Sir. Matthew Ojugo, the group stated that after last month’s meeting they again resolved not to allow toll collection on the highway because it would cause untold hardship for Lagosians that would ply the 25.5 kilometre road.

LERSA stated that the expansion of the road at a cost of N50billion means that it costs N2.1billion to expand one kilometre of road, making it the most expensive road project in the world.

The stakeholders stated: “We know that any responsible government takes the responsibility for promises of basic infrastracuture for its citizens, to alleviate their suffering. Why would only the Lekki-Eti Osa-Epe Highway be the only road in Lagos State on which users pay tolls? Why should we have three toll gates after every five minutes drive; and why can’t they also collect tolls on Surulere, Isolo and Lawanson to Yaba bus stop after the road was expanded?

“If LCC, a private company, collect tolls for expanding our road with only an additional one lane, why should they also collect tolls for the existing two lanes? That is cheating, exploitation and it amounts to double taxation.

“If the toll gate is allowed to stay, does that not suggest that if ACN is elected at the federal level, they would introduce toll gates all over Nigeria,” they stated

This is the time for all Lagosians and Nigerians to fight against the collection of tolls on any road in Lagos State, so that some cabal would not mortgage our future for ever,” the group stated.

—Paul Iyoghojie

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