22nd December, 2011
The Lagos State government yesterday met with major transport operators on the Lekki-Epe Expressway to fashion out ways to mitigate the impact of toll collection on commuters.
The government and the registered commercial transport operators on the axis agreed that fares would not be increased as a result of the tolls so that the commuters would not have to bear the brunt.
Commissioner for Tranportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Lateef Raji and other government officials from the Ministry of Transportation represented the government while representatives of transport firms which include TM Nigeria Limited; TW Transports; City Buses, BAMB and Bonny Camp, the licensed transport players on the axis and officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW were at the meeting.
The meeting held at the Conference Room, Ministry of Transportation, Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, southwest Nigeria. The NURTW officials supported governmentâ€™s introduction of toll on the expressway, saying that its members agreed with the step taken by government.
According to Opeifa, the meeting was called to appreciate the efforts of the union in salvaging the Lekki-Epe situation and urged the transport operators on the axis to migrate to the e-tag toll payment instead of the manual payment in order to reduce traffic gridlock.
The transport players on the corridor pointed out that the 30 years concession granted to Lekki Concession Company, LCC to collect tolls on the road was too long and that the N80 toll being paid by commercial bus operators was too much.
They also observed that the mode of collection of the toll was too slow, leading to traffic gridlock, adding that they expected that when they collected the e-tag, it should be able to last them for several days.
Managing Director, Bonny Camp Transport, Mr. Abiodun Akindele, said the e-tag should be done in a way that it would last the consumer for two weeks.
The transport operators said they would cooperate with the government so that the toll collection could go smoothly.
According to the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Raji, the reason for the meeting was not to apportion blame but to find ways forward for smooth transport operations on the axis.
He urged the transport players and private vehicles to make use of the e-tag in order to reduce traffic gridlock on the expressway, adding that the amount being collected as toll was not arbitrary, but was fixed at a stakeholderâ€™s meeting on toll collection on the expressway.