Some representatives of the Lagos State House of Assembly are unconvinced of the State Government’s intention to toll the newly built Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge which is due for commissioning today.
Some of the lawmakers are under the impression that their constituents will not be pleased over the tolling of a 1 kilometre bridge and have suspended debate on the bill that will make tolling the bridge legal until further debate on the matter.
The bill, with the title: Concession Agreement for Electronic Tolling System (ETS) of the Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Bridge was moved through a motion by the Leader of the House, Ajibayo Adeyeye.
The motion had been seconded by member, Honourable Sultan Adeniji-Adele.
Adeyeye said a company, Lagos Tolling Company, had been set up in order to be in charge of the concession of the bridge. He added that 73% of the gross revenue from the toll would go to the State government, whilst 27% would be retained by the company.
As the Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji moved to approve the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Taiwo Kolawole asked him to seek the opinion of other members of the House.
The Tribune reports: Some of the members, while commenting on proposal, wondered why the one kilometre bridge would be tolled, even as they all noted the voluminous nature of the bill which needed time to study.
According to Honourable Olusegun Olulade, some things were not clear because of the volume of the document, urging that the tolling of the bridge should be put off for now, while the government be asked to go ahead with the commissioning.
Another member, Hon Bisi Yusuf also took note of the huge volume of the bill.
He said that “the project was started two years ago and you are bringing the document for urgent consideration and approval, it is not the best. It needs time for examination, so a time frame should be given.”
Hon Saka Fafunmi, who also contributed to the debated, said he was not convinced on why tolling should be allowed on the bridge, which is just a kilometre.
Besides, he argued that the project was undertaken with Lagos State tax payer’s fund and not through Build Operate and Transfer approach.
“I know it was part of Lagos State fund that was used to build the project. Must we always make the people pay for every service we provide,” he queried.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Kolawole noted that the request of the government, as claimed in the proposal, was not in line with the 2011 Public-Private Partnership law.
“As far as I am concerned, this has nothing to do with PPP law. This is not about provision of infrastructure because the bridge has already been constructed using the tax payers’ money.
So, why should we still toll a bridge that we have built with our money?