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#EndSARS: Lekki Residents Reject Tolling, Reopening Of Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge In Letter To Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu

The association made its position known in a letter to Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Members of Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association have rejected the tolling and reopening of the Lekki Tollgate by the Lekki Concession Company.
The association made its position known in a letter to Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.


The letter dated March 27, 2022, and signed by LERSA chairman, Yomi Idowu, stated that the resumption of tolling would aggravate the sufferings of Lekki residents.
The letter reads, “Let's first paint a picture of the current reality being faced in the socio-economic environment: According to the Central Bank of Nigeria/National Bureau of Statistics, unemployment is at 33% while youth unemployment is at a staggering 42.5%; and when you add youth under-employment, you have 63.5% of youth either unemployed or underemployed.
“Also, Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) is currently at 15.70% resulting in increasing cost of food compounded by the increased cost of electricity, fuel and diesel prices. In addition to all of this, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike, meaning students are at home, with other unions threatening to go on strike.
“It is therefore evident that with elections around the corner combined with Nigeria's precarious socio-economic climate, any additional triggers increasing the burden of citizens could produce unexpected outcomes. We view with deep concern and trepidation the less than transparent attempt at recommencing tolling activities at the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, even as matters relating to the #EndSARS protest, which led to the termination of tolling activities in the first place, remain largely unresolved. The issue is compounded by the myriad of issues bedevilling the rationale to toll at this location.
“It is against this backdrop that the Lekki Phase 1 Residents Association (LERA) implores the Lagos State Government (LASG) to apply wisdom and shelve its plans to resume toll collection on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge. Furthermore, there are fundamental and critical issues yet to be addressed which make the decision to recommence tolling unjust, oppressive, and illegal.
“1. Pending Court Matter; The Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC) and LASG have continued to use the instrumentality of the law courts to foist hardship on our community. We recall that the Federal High Court in Lagos had in the recent past effectively declared the tolling of the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge as illegal and unconstitutional. LASG characteristically secured an order of stay of execution on the ground that it had appealed the court's decision but has so far failed to prosecute the subject appeal. With this Sword of Damocles hanging over our community, one expected LASG to pursue the best interest of its citizenry rather than use the machinery of the state against law-abiding citizens.
“2. Ownership Question and Lack of Transparency; In currently making a case for the resumption of tolling, LASG has stated several times that LCC is a privately owned entity. As such, it has the burden to cater for its over 500 employees. Nothing, however, could be more disingenuous. According to LCC's website, LASG, ‘... acquired the shares/equity of the previous owners of LCC in December 2014. This was supported by the testimonies of the Managing Director of the LCC, Yomi Omomuwasan and the Head of Service to the Lagos State Government, Hakeem Muri-Okunola during the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality that LCC is 100% owned by LASG.
“It was therefore clearly misleading that LCC presented itself to the members of the Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) as a private company. This was recorded in the Minutes of the Monday, March 14, 2022 meeting between the LCC Managing Director, LERSA members and other stakeholders. Lekki Phase 1 residents have proximity to the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge for obvious reasons, and LCC again sought to misinform the general public when it stated that it had consulted with stakeholders including residents who consequently endorsed the resumption of tolling. Nothing could be farther from the truth as LERA maintains that it never gave its consent for the resumption of tolling.
“LERA's position is that it is unconscionable to buffet the estate with excessive tolls on the two major exit points out of the estate without any viable alternatives. Not least because these infrastructures should rightly be provided by the government without the need to burden a populace that is already overtaxed.”