The Lagos State Government says that new toll collection technology is being implemented at the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge Toll Gate, due to reopen on April 1, this year.
The Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Gate was shut down in the wake of the EndSARS protest that happened in October 2020 across Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to protest police brutality.
Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said that motorists will not pay tolls for the first two weeks during the test run of the new technology being installed at the toll gate.
Omotoso, who dropped the hint on Wednesday while speaking at the Arise News Morning Show, says the planned reopening by Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC), operators of the tolling service, will see the tolling facility running free of charge for two weeks from April 1, 2022, while the collection of tolls will begin two weeks after.
While the planned resumption of the toll service has generated public outcry, the Commissioner wants Lagosians to be compassionate about the plight of the 500-strong LCC staff who have been out of work for 18 months.
Omotoso said that LCC had huge debts to pay as the company owes local lenders N61.1 million and foreign lenders $31.1 million.
“The re-opening”, Omotosho says, “will go ahead as recently announced by the Lekki Concession Company and toll will not be collected for the first two weeks to test run the new technology being installed there. This is to ensure people have a better way of paying at the toll gate.”
According to him, “it is also economically unrealistic and investment unfriendly for the Toll Plaza to remain shut forever as the Company has financial obligations to discharge to its creditors while its staff, about five hundred in number, also need to get back to work and earn their livelihood.
“The restoration of operations by LCCI follows extensive engagement with stakeholders, such as the residents association, traditional rulers, transport union and others, all of whom the State truly appreciates.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy confirmation comes amid a recent statement by Yomi Omomuwasan, LCC Managing Director about the planned introduction of what he describes as “new technology and innovations to make passages seamless and faster for commuters.”
According to him, “we are replacing old toll devices with upgraded ones for faster throughput at the Toll Plaza.
“The new devices have been configured to synchronize with the newly upgraded tolling systems and will improve functionality while enabling a better experience.”
According to the LCC MD, “the devices can be installed at any of LCC Customer Service Centre at the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza, Conservation Toll Plaza or the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge. They can also be delivered to customers’ preferred locations, whilst the devices would only be installed on the vehicle by LCC’s authorised personnel.”