Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotosho has said that the reopening of Lekki Tollgate on April 1, will go on as planned.
Speaking in an interview on Arise TV, Omotosho stated that there’s no going back on reopening of the tollgate as the company in charge of it, Lekki Concession Company Limited, owes about N24.52bn to both local and foreign lenders.
The commissioner also said the decision to reopen the tollgate came after a meeting with stakeholders.
“From all the encouragement that the LCC has gotten from stakeholders; people who live in that place, work there, or even drive through, they have printed handbills that have been given to people. They have had various meetings with people who live around that area and people who use the road frequently.
“So, I do not think that there is going to be any resistance at all. The first time that LCC went to the place, it was not just to open the place and begin to collect toll, it was just for the company to go there and see the damage to its equipment and how the damage can be redressed.
“Even this one has taken about 18 months for LCC to plan to return to the Toll Gate because it has no choice after borrowing about N11.6bn from local lenders and $31.1m from foreign lenders. So, there is no way that LCC can just stay away from going back to tolling on that road.
“Also, there are about 500 workers at LCC, about 90 percent of them have been idle for the past 18 months and they have families to feed; friends and relations to attend to. So, for the company to want to return now, and like I said, people are giving them great understanding.”
The commissioner also claimed that most of those criticizing decision to reopen the tollgate don’t live in Nigeria.
“Most of the people that have been vociferous about the Lekki Construction Company returning to the toll gate are people who do not live around that place. What I have discovered are people who don’t live in Nigeria. They send messages from thousands of miles away asking people not to go there and pay a toll while saying all manners of unprintable things”