By Daniels Ekugo
Following extensive consultations held with stakeholders in the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway of Lagos State, the Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC), has announced a review in toll tariffs at the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza with effect from Thursday, February 1, 2018.
According to a press statement, the toll fare increase is as a result of current economic and business realities that have adversely increased the cost of operations and maintenance of the company’s loan obligations.
The Managing Director, LCC, Mr. Mohammed Hassan noted that the feedback and recommendations received during the series of consultations held in December 2017 with stakeholders in Eti-Osa Local Government area and its environs considerably influenced the new toll fares to be paid by motorists plying the Expressway and the Link Bridge.
Detailing the new development, Mr. Hassan said: “Since the commencement of tolling in December 2011, the toll tariffs had remained the same despite the continuous increase in the cost of operations to ensure that the toll plazas and the road infrastructure are well maintained. The toll review has also become necessary to enable the company meet its loan obligations to its local and foreign lenders, considering the fact that foreign exchange rates have continued to increase astronomically in the last couple of years. LCC cannot continue to operate or provide the services required from us if we do not review the toll tariffs”.
Many of the consulted stakeholders including traditional rulers & community leaders, residents’ associations and youth groups, Eti-Osa Local Government officials, members of the media as well as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Eti-Osa Local Government Area agreed that there was a need for constant upgrade of road facilities, as the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe corridor was rapidly becoming an international economic hub for investors.
Reacting to the new toll fares for branded commercial vehicles popularly called ‘Danfo’, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Jakande, Eti-Osa Local Government Chapter, Alhaji Taofeek Oluwa, commended the foresight of LCC in consulting with leaders and members of the NURTW in Eti-Osa LGA. Alhaji Oluwa noted that although the toll fare review by LCC was unavoidable, the NURTW was glad to know that LCC took their advice for a minimal increment on toll fare from N80 to N100 (N90 for eTag users) for commercial transport buses plying the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway.
“As long as LCC honours its agreement of our mutual understanding at the stakeholders’ meeting, we can confidently support LCC and the Lagos State Government by assuring that commuters will not suffer any increase in the fare paid to board branded commercial buses coming into or going out of Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway. Also, if the fare increase will improve the standard of the roads and provide more comfortable and safer journey for all road users, NURTW will be happy to endorse the toll fare review”, Alhaji Oluwa added.
Keeping in line with its corporate objectives of delivering real utility to road users on the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, LCC had managed operations of the roads for the past ten years despite the yearly increase of the cost of operations and other relevant expenses. In addition, LCC provides various other services to road users, especially as it relate to their convenience such as the 24/7 free vehicle breakdown and recovery services by the Company’s Route and Incident Management team; the LCC dedicated Police team; the Toll free Customer Service helpline and other services. Over 100,000 road users have benefited from the free service of the Route and Incident Management team since inception, while LCC dedicated police team has ensured improved security along the expressway.
Mr. Ebuka Oseji, a businessman resident in Ajah, who was part of the community consultation with LCC, offered some advice saying: “It is also pertinent for LCC as a company to continue to carry out its corporate social responsibilities to the people in our catchment area so as to enable them enjoy the benefits accruable from investments in the area”.
Mr. Hassan further urged motorists to take advantage of the electronic platforms by registering for e-Tag to enable them enjoy discounted passages and faster throughput at the plazas. The LCC’s Managing Director said that commercial buses would enjoy discounted passages such that transport fares will not be hiked as a result of the reviewed tariff.