Some motorists and passengers plying the Lekki-Ajah Highway in Lagos State on Thursday,February 1, 2018 expressed mixed feelings over the increase in the tolls at Lekki and Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plazas by the by the Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC) .
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the company had last Monday announced an upward review of toll fees adding that they would take effect from Feb. 1.
The LCC said that the increment was due to current economic and business realities that had impacted on the cost of servicing the company’s loan obligations.
It said that it took the decision following an “extensive consultations held with stakeholders in the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway of Lagos State.”
NAN reports that commercial buses and motorcycles plying the axis now pay N100 as against N80 on each trip while those with e-tag now pay N90.
Saloon cars and tricycles now pay N200 per trip as against the former N120, those with e-tag pay N180; SUVs, mini-vans, light pick-up trucks now pay N400 and N360 for those with e-tag.
Every non-commercial bus with maximum capacity of 26 seats pays N1,000 and N900 with e-tag; and motorcycles with 200cc capacity and above now pay N200 and N180 for those with e-tag.
The state government initially halted the proposed tariff increase on Dec. 5, 2017.
Some of the road users told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the increase would increase hardship while others believed the increase was in line with current economic realities.
Mrs Jane Alichi, an interior decorator in Ikoyi, appealed to the state government to consider the economic situation in the country and look for other avenues to absorb the cost.
“Government should help the masses. They should be making deliberate efforts to cushion the effect of the economic hardship now,” she said.
A civil servant who lives on the Lekki-Ajah axis, Mr Ehijimeto Modu, appealed to the state government to improve the efficiency of the alternative route for motorists.
“They (government) should fulfil their promise to people who live on the axis that they will create alternative routes on the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
“They have left the alternative route ineffective to force all of us to be using the toll gate. Now they have increased the toll, it is not fair at all,” he told NAN.
An ICT expert in Lekki, Mrs Unera Markus urged government to consider the wages of road users before embarking on increment of the tolls.
“They used our tax to construct that road, so what is the operational cost they are talking about?
“Have they increased salaries? They just want to punish the masses,” she told NAN.
Miss Bibi Chuka, a student of the Lagos State Polytechnic said that the increase would result in hike in transportation fares on the axis.
“In Lagos State of today, transportation cost is already high. I am not in support of the increase because transporters will use that as an excuse to charge more,” she said.
However, an engineer, Mr Gbenga Akinlolu, said that any increase that would guarantee efficiency of service delivery was good.
“The margin of the increase should not be much considering the kind of services they render.
“The current economic realities call for a review. The services they render on the axis are enormous such that if your vehicle breaks down the LCC personnel assist you.
“They also provide security and those accompanying services come at a cost.
“I expected them to consult with the transporters and other stakeholders before the review,” Akinlolu said.
By Grace Alegba