Toll Gate closure in Lagos leads to chaos

Written by Staff Writer Lekki Toll Gate is one of the busiest roads in the entire Lagos state. From the inception of the road, the toll gates across the route have been an automatic…

Toll Gate closure in Lagos leads to chaos

Written by Staff Writer

Lekki Toll Gate is one of the busiest roads in the entire Lagos state. From the inception of the road, the toll gates across the route have been an automatic source of controversy, for obvious reasons.

Since its inauguration and the construction of the entry and exit lanes, revenue generation has always been very low. It is an environmental issue as well, as the majority of the toll revenue generated at the toll gates is used to offset the cost of the road development.

To add to the woes of the policy makers, it is rumored that the toll gates have all but become a bone of contention.

Due to this, there is an ongoing contract between the state government and Lafarge Cement WAPCO to install biometric gates on the road.

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What happened at the bridge?

Although it could take time for the authorities to release all the details of the incident, several reports suggest the toll gates may have led to the death of a man.

Reports by residents of Ibadan and the Daily Times, suggest that the toll gates led to the death of a man in his 70s on the bridge. The man may have committed suicide.

But security officials, on duty at the toll gate insist there is no cause for alarm.

The toll gates were installed to make a capital outlay of ₦400 million (US$910,000) to fix the lane as well as raise revenue from the toll.

Former Lagos Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Wasiu Sanni-Zyadah, said before construction of the toll gates commenced, the toll gates were positioned where they were in consonance with the road work.

“Since the beginning of the toll gates, only when we move into the early 2000s did the toll gates begin to be installed where they were not,” he said.

Read more: Angry passengers’ video captures Gariki bus stuck in traffic

There was controversy

These roads have also created fierce debate because of their location. Some say they constitute potential impediments to law and order in their under-utilized environment. However, due to the poor condition of the roads, it’s a wise bet to point out that on almost all occasions, the number of accidents and traffic snarls have increased.

This heightened concern reached a head last week after a video went viral that showed a commuter allegedly being attacked by a traffic policeman. The video shows the police struggling with the commuter over the CCTV camera.

The video first went viral on social media, with dozens of statements released on social media platforms.

The same day, the toll gates were closed down temporarily due to the traffic incident. The authorities later gave the reason for the closure as being “in order to prevent further incidents.”

How other European countries approach toll gates

In France, Italy and Austria, toll gates are administered through a consolidated company where there is representation of all the stakeholders in the process. In Kenya and Nigeria, toll gates are run by individual licensees.

Both Kenya and Nigeria, in common legislation are member countries of the East African Community, a fast-growing region in east Africa consisting of five states, namely, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.

The movement of traffic along the Lekki axis takes place inbound and outbound traffic, and traffic within Lekki and its adjourning areas comprises two segments — Lekki Mainland Road and Lekki Expressway.

Generally, European governments have erected numerous barriers like pedestrian footbridges to prevent motorists from parking in road reserves, or being placed outside the roadway.

However, in Nigeria, these barriers have limitedly, and tactically been used to restrict free movement of vehicles on the road. The fence currently being erected in case of accidents at the Lekki Toll Gate suggests this is the plan.

Read more: Rome plagued by expensive parking fees

In the interest of citizens, perhaps there should be a more viable and sustainable means of generating more revenue.

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