Residents of Lekki, Lagos on Friday made good their threat to stage a protest over the multiple hikes in tolls collected at two toll plazas in the area , the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
On Feb. 1, the Lekki Concession Company effected a hundred per cent increase in some tolls collected at the Lagos -Ajah highway and the Lekki -Ikoyi Bridge , jolting millions of residents. The convener of the protest, Mr Adedotun Hassan , described the toll hikes as unacceptable , unfair and killing . He said it was unthinkable for a government to impose such a burden on hapless and poorly paid residents at a difficult moment like now , calling on the Lagos State Government to cancel the toll increases. Hassan , who led a group known as Eti - Osa Development Forum , argued that imposing the toll on residents was inhuman and amounted to double taxation . He argued that in a democracy , the residents ought to have been consulted before making such hikes , saying that the development would affect businesses in Lekki and its environs adversely . “ Residents are not happy with the situation . The increment is killing , that is why we are staging this protest. “ We want the government to cancel the tolls because we pay our taxes , the amount is too high, residents are being short-changed. “ We belong to the same Lagos State , ours is not different . Is it a crime to live in Lekki ? What have we done to warrant this punishment ?’’ Another Lekki resident, Mr Murphy Adebare , lamented that life had not been the same for him since the new tolls came into effect . He pleaded with Gov . Akinwunmi Ambode , to come to the rescue of the residents and show human face in his administration of Lagos State . “ How can an administration impose two toll gates within one Local Government Area in the state? This is the worst form of meanness . ’’ A cleric Mrs Ngozi Igbokwe , also called for the cancellation of the tolls , pointing out that no genuine reason had been advanced by the operators of the plazas . “ During rainy season you will pity the residents of this area because of flooding . Government has not done anything on this problem . “ Why would the same government allow its citizens to be devoured by greedy businessmen in the name of toll collection ?’’ On Feb . 1, the LCC rolled out a new toll regime at the Lagos -Ajah highway and the Lekki -Ikoyi Bridge . Motorcycle riders are now to pay N 100 instead of N 50, while cars are to pay N 200 instead of N 120. Sports utility vehicles are now to pay N 300 instead of N 150 while commercial buses now N 100 instead of N 80. NAN reports that anti - riot policemen were deployed in large numbers at the toll plazas to prevent a breakdown of the law and order during the protest. An attempt by some people to disrupt the peaceful protest was immediately checked by security operatives .