The Lagos State government on Tuesday revoked the concession agreement reached for the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway with the Lekki Concession Company.
The decision followed the approval of the state’s lawmakers to allow the government the right to acquire the existing concession rights and toll revenue benefits held by the concessionaire.
Governor Babatunde Fashola had in a supplementary budget proposal letter to the State House of Assembly dated August 19, 2013, requested the it to amend the 2013 budget, owing to unforeseen developments in terms of the state’s internally generated revenue.
Fashola in the letter said: “The proposal for further amendment is largely predicated by the need to fund the acquisition of existing concession, right and toll revenue benefit held by the LekkiConcession Company, LCC, the concessionaire for the Eti-Osa-Lekki- Epe expressway.
“This will effectively accelerate the transfer of ownership of the road to the state, leaving the state with wider policy options with regards to that important infrastructure.
“This will entail increase in the overall budget size by N7.5bn. This is against the background of a projected shortfall of N22.5bn in budgeted internally generated revenue, IGR, which now need to be covered by the additional borrowings,” the governor said.
The House gave its approval for the requests in the proposal read on the floor by the Clerk, GaniyuAbiru.
The commissioners for budget and economic planning, Ben Akabueze; Finance, Ayo Gbeleyi as well as works and infrastructure, Obafemi Hamzat, were at the House to defend the proposal.
The LCC was mandated under a 30-year build, operate and transfer agreement to upgrade, expand and maintain the about 50-kilometre road (Phase I), and construct another 20km of coastal road (Phase II) along the Lekki corridor.
But the firm and the state government came under severe attacks when they introduced what the residents considered as high tolls on the road in 2011 after significant progress was made in the first phase.
Users of the expanded road have had pay between N50 for motorcycles to N120 for saloon cars and tricycles; N150 for sports utility vehicles, minibuses and pick-up trucks; N80 for commercial mini-buses and N250 and N350 for light trucks and heavy trucks and buses with two or more heavy axles, respectively.
With the development, residents and motorists may no longer pay the toll to access the multibillionnaira road or abide with a new toll fee that may be fixed by the state government.