Why we’ve not signed agreement with Lekki Toll road concessionaire –LASG

The Lagos State Government says it has not signed any agreement with the concessionaire of Lekki- Epe Toll Road, Messrs Lekki Concession Company, LCC, on the plan by the later to jerk up the tolls currently being collected from road users.

Fielding questions from newsmen during a media chat with some selected journalists in Ikeja, Lagos, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said though the state government is still engaging the concessionaire but it has not signed any agreement with it, considering the position of government to buy over the concession.

He explained that by the agreement of the road concession, the concessionaire ought to have increased the tolls collection by now but government rejected the proposal.

He said, “By the agreement, the concessionaire says it ought to have increased the toll, but we say no. The investors say they borrowed money in foreign currencies and people are paying in naira, saying they have to increase the tolls because the cost of borrowing is increasing, but we say no, they can’t increase the tolls. Since then we have not signed any agreement with them, though we are engaging them in discursions. ”

The LCC , which is the special purpose vehicle representing the investors, recently brought it to the attention of the state government that given the rapid rise in interest rates on local loans, and other cost parameters, it is compelled to raise tolls currently being charged at Toll Plaza One from N120.00 to N144.00 per car.

It would be recalled that the state government had last year explained its position on the plan to buy-back the concession rights, attributing it to the agitation by the concessionaire to jack up the toll.

It also said the concession agreement with the concessionaire was not terminated as reported by a section of the media.

The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeola Ipaye and his finance counterpart, Mr. Ayodele Gbeleyi, recently explained the state’s decision in a statement they jointly signed.

According to the statement, the state government had neither terminated nor cancelled the concession agreement it entered into with the LCC to reconstruct and expand the expressway.

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