By Abiola Sanni
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, has assured Lagosians that the Command has put necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of lives and property, free flow of traffic and a peaceful environment for carrying out their respective lawful duties.
This assurance has become imperative following news making the rounds that some Nigerians are planning to protest at the Lekki Toll-gate, an action capable of grounding commercial activities and obstructing free flow of traffic.
While the Command is not averse to the peoples’ right to freedom of assembly and association; and expression, the Command will equally live up to its mandate of ensuring that no person or group of persons is allowed to infringe on the fundamental human rights of others, especially the rights to freedom of movement and right to dignity of human persons, CP made known through a statement made available by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin on Thursday.
CP Alabi therefore warns all intending protesters that anyone found infringing on the rights of other Nigerians will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Lekki Concession Company issued by the Managing Director of the firm, Yomi Omomuwasan stated, following months of engagement with key stakeholders within Eti-Osa /Lekki-Epe area, Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC) hereby officially announces the formal return to tolling operations on Friday, 1st April, 2022 at the Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza. However, toll payment will not commence until 16th April 2022.
LCC has been a worthy part of the Eti-Osa/ Lekki-Epe ecosystem and has served the community relentlessly and to the best of its ability over the years. We are encouraged by the response and the cooperation received from the vast majority of residents and stakeholders who appreciate the value we bring to bear on their daily movement and continue to register for (or update ) their toll accounts in readiness for the commencement of cashless toll collection. All the points made at the engagements are well taken.
Whilst LCC is aware of the concerns expressed by some stakeholders regarding the return to tolling, it is common knowledge that the government cannot, on its own, meet all the infrastructural needs of the ever-growing population.
Given that the funding for the project was secured by the initial private sector sponsors and contracts were signed with various local and international financial institutions, in the spirit of respecting the sanctity of contracts, the Lagos State Government continues to meet these obligations when it bought over the shares of LCC, thereby taking over both the assets and liabilities.
To ensure a smooth return, LCC has deployed new and more efficient technology at the Ikoyi Bridge Toll Plaza. Therefore, to test run the new system and ensure a seamless interface with road users, the first two weeks will be completely toll – free.
LCC remains committed to providing a safer and better driving experience on the Ikoyi Link Bridge.
Many of the residents and stakeholders in the area are said to be against resumption of LCC tolling vehicles on the road, it’s therefore not clear, whether the protest will still hold as earlier scheduled or not, fingers are crossed.
Meanwhile, CP Alabi once again enjoins all peace loving Lagosians to go about their lawful duties without fear of harassment or intimidation, reiterating that adequate security assets have been strategically deployed to ensure their safety and security.