It is the general belief that a government has certain responsibilities to its citizens some of which includes the creation of road and healthy means of transportaion and that the citizens has a responsibility to the state of paying thier taxes as at when due. so the intension to toll the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge was greeted with a lot of opposition that why would a government toll a facility provided and developed by state funds, over the weeked the Lagos State Government explained its decision to toll the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, saying it was a strategy for developing and maintaining roads either built by the public funds or not. The state government justified the decision to toll the newly unveiled infrastructure amid stern controversies, which trailed the concessioning of the bridge to Lagos Tolling Company at the state House of Assembly. The state
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said all bridges similar to this across the world “are normally tolled.” Hamzat said the bridge “has been done and will provide services to the people. There is a user option here which to my mind allows the people exercise choice. Again this is not new. There is a debate that is on-going over the return of tolls to our highways. It has been done before. The Federal Government is returning to it.” He, therefore, said tolling questions “are obviously a strategy for financing both maintenance and road development whether the roads have been originally financed by state (public) funds for such development or not.”
According to him, there was an international best practice here. There is nowhere in the world where this is not so. All such bridges are tolled. Again its alignment is close to the Lekki expresssway that has a toll.
He said failing “to toll the bridge will probably lead to congestion that we are avoiding on the axis. The price tag on the bridge charged to public coffers will be a waste,” a condition, which he said, made its tolling a necessity.
He explained that the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge “is no ordinary bridge. It is not just there for anyone to maintain. Our thinking is that the builder, Julius Berger Plc, be given the maintenance work. The bill has to be met by the users.”
The state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), had handed the bridge over to the concessionaire, after which he said the objective was to provide a transport infrastructure and strategic traffic management solution aimed at easing traffic congestion.
Based on this, the proposal to toll the bridge had generated protracted debate at a plenary at the state assembly. The lawmakers said the proposal was not in line with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Law of Lagos State, 2011.
But in spite of the controversies the proposal generated at the plenary, the state government opened the bridge for public use under the maintenance agreement that gives the state 73 per cent of the revenues accrued from the tolling and the concessionaire 27 per cent.