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Lekki Ikoyi LB

Notice of going cashless on Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge very late—Car owners

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More number of car owners regularly playing the iconic Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge in Lagos have roundly opposed the planned resumption of only cashless passage on the Toll Plaza from Wednesday, January 1, 2020, saying the notice came not only very late, but at a time everybody is concerned with activities of the end of the year.

Recall that the concessionaire of the Cable-stayed bridge infrastructure, delivered by the state government under former governor Babatunde Fashola in May 2013, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, had last week announced end to cash acceptance and beginning of cashless tolling effective January 1, 2020.

Business Hilights recalls that the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge is a 1.36 km cable-stayed bridge in Lagos State. It links the Phase 1 area of Lekki, with Ikoyi district of Lagos. The bridge was commissioned on the 29th of May 2013 by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola.

The infrastructure is delivered on a total length of 1,360m by Julius Berger on a longest span of 110m crossing the Five Cowries Creek between choice residential area of Ikoyi and Lekki Phase one residential heaven in Lagos state.

Out of an average of 50 car owners plying the bridge interviewed on Monday, over 96 per cent said the notice is very sudden and therefore cannot work from January. They argued that notice for such policy change ought to have been made public in the beginning of the last quarter of this year rather than waiting till two weeks to the end of the year.

One of the car owners, who pleaded anonymity, queried why LCC had waited till the very last two weeks of the year to announce it.

According to him, “Such policy initiative is an embarrassment on the collective intelligence of the regular users. There should have been serious awareness creation over not less than three months for everybody to know and have time to run around for acquisition of e-tags and all the digital installations on every car. This was not considered. All of a sudden, the next thing we heard is cashless tolling. I don’t think it will work. They need to extend it to at least the beginning of second quarter of 2020.

Another car owner, who welcomed the digitization of the tollgate, said “Even though it remains a good idea, it came very late and users of the bridge were not carried along as there had been no kind of awareness on the new policy.

He therefore called on the state government to prevail on the company to postpone the resumption date to at least second quarter of 2020 to avoid chaos next month because nobody is ready to run around looking for e-tags or all those digital installations when all eyes are on yuletide and rounding up corporate activities for next business year.

LCC had announced plan to commence cashless toll collection at the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza from Wednesday, January 1, 2020, saying “This means that cash will no longer be collected at the link bridge as passage through the toll plaza would be for only those who have embraced electronic means of payment.”

According to the company, “The innovation would ensure seamless passage for road users, improvement of motorists’ journey and reduction in travel time.

Announcing this at a press briefing in his office, LCC Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Yomi Omomuwasan, said the transformation was in line with the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s policy aimed at providing respite to Lagosians in terms of adequate traffic management and tackling other cardinal needs of residents.

Ne said “Cash payment will no longer be accepted at the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza. However, motorists can still use both cash and electronic devices for passages at the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza. We encourage motorists to obtain their toll devices for ease of passage and to eliminate the issue of change in the toll booths.”

Continuing, he claimed that a wide array of options have been made available to customers and toll road users to substitute for the current cash transactions, noting that “Motorists can visit our customer service centres at any of the toll plazas by Admiralty Circle, Conservation and Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge Toll plazas, to obtain free and discounted eTag devices, prepaid cards or payment vouchers for their immediate use prior to the kick off date.

“We have also launched our LCC mobile app where customers can register for toll devices, top-up their account, check their balance and view the statement of account. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play store or iOS for immediate sign-up on the electronic devices,” the LCC Managing Director averred.

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