Lagos toll bridge controversy

The Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned its judgement until 9 July in the ongoing case surrounding the propriety of the tolling concession for the newly-opened Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge.

Prior to the bridge’s inauguration on 1 June, opposition politicians queried the circumstances around the awarding of the concession of the bridge to Lagos Tolling Company.

The tolling also met with opposition from Lagosians who asked why commuters should pay a toll for a bridge that was financed with tax-payers’ funds, not through a public-partnership deal.

The 1.35-km bridge, which cost over $184 million and was built by giant Nigerian construction company Julius Berger, connects Lagos Island with the Lekki peninsula.

The Lagos state government has justified its controversial decision to toll the bridge, explaining it is part of a strategy for developing and maintaining state roads regardless of whether they are built with public or private funds.

The tolls for cars are N250 ($1.50); for mini vans, SUVs and light pick-up trucks N300 ($1.85); non-commercial buses with a maximum seating capacity of 26 people, N400 ($2.50); motorcycles with 200 cc engines and above, N100 ($0.60).

The tolling agreement is that 73 per cent of the gross revenue from the tolls goes to the state government, while the remaining 27 per cent goes to the Lagos Tolling Company which has the concession for ten years.

The case continues.