By Joy Ehonwa
Today, road users enjoy the Eti-Osa Lekki-Epe Expressway’s clean, solid multi-lane carriageways, world class bus stops, traffic lights and road signage, and while many do not like the fact that they have to pay to use it, none can deny that the commuting experience on the road is immensely improved. Indeed, it is a far cry from what it used to be.
Here are some important facts about the Eti-Osa Lekki-Epe Expressway project, and the concessionaire in charge; LCC.
1. The Eti-Osa Lekki-Epe Expressway, which is the principal arterial road connecting the Lekki-Epe axis to the rest of Lagos, was commissioned in 1983 by the then Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
2. The Eti-Osa Lekki-Epe Expressway is the gateway to the proposed Lekki Free Zone, which is not just a Free Trade Zone but a new model city. Apart from the industrial component, it will include residential accommodation, business centres, a financial hub and tourism activities. Upon completion, the zone will serve as a springboard to launch the Lekki-Epe axis, and the entire North-Eastern axis of Lagos into a business and commercial hub of the African continent.
3. The Tinubu Administration was convinced that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model would advance its efforts to ease the discomfort of Lagosians and boost the economic prosperity of the state especially in the Lekki –Epe vicinity, and began the tendering process for bids from various potential concessionaires, for what was then known as the Lagos Infrastructure Project.
4. Asset & Resource Management Company Ltd (“ARM”) emerged winner of the competitive bid for the Lagos Infrastructure Project, and incorporated the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) as a special purpose vehicle to execute the Eti-Osa Lekki-Epe Expressway Project. The preferred concession method for the project was BOT – Build, Operate, Transfer- which is a globally established model.
5. Lekki Concession Company (LCC) is mandated under a 30-year concession agreement with the Lagos State Government to not only finance, build and deliver essential road infrastructure, along with much needed road services, but also to operate and maintain the road for the full 30-year term of the concession, and then to hand over the assets to Lagos State in good condition at the end of the concession term. The concession agreement for the project was executed on April 24, 2006, and then on August 25, 2008, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) signed four supplemental agreements with LCC to enable the company have access to long term funding for the construction of the Lekki- Epe Expressway.
6. In 2008, LCC received full commitment for the cost of the construction phase of the project, securing a N50 billion long-term financing package with several blue-chip local and international financial institutions, on terms that are acknowledged as ground-breaking for the Nigerian Market. Investors include Stanbic IBTC, First Bank of Nigeria, and African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM).
7. LCC did not receive a lump sum of N50 billion at once; neither has it been spending the said amount on the road carriageway alone. Besides the rehabilitation and upgrade of the carriageway, the construction works include new bridge structures, drainage systems, underground service ducts, and various other features. The entire amount of funding that will therefore be spent on the road over the 30-year period far exceeds the N50 billion required for the construction phase. The total estimated cost, including maintenance, runs into trillions of Naira over 30 years.
8. Due to the large amounts of capital required by major infrastructure projects like this, and in order to allow for the LCC to recover their capital, service their loans, operate and maintain the infrastructure assets, and make a reasonable profit, end users are required to make a contribution to meeting the costs of the project by paying toll.
First Toll Plaza- Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza in the vicinity of the Palms Shopping Mall
Second Toll Plaza – Conservation Plaza located by Scintilla, between Chevron HQ and Oluwa Nisola House
Third Toll Plaza- Campus Toll Plaza, in the vicinity of the Lagos Business School (LBS)
Basic Toll Fares
- Commercial Danfo minibuses- N80
- Saloon Cars- N120
- Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), minibuses and pickup trucks- N150
- Light Trucks and two-axle buses- N250
- Heavy trucks and buses with two or more heavy axles- N350
9. Various price incentives and discounts are in place to assist toll payers, such as:
a.) The ePayment Incentive which allows road users to enjoy discounts of up to 10% for choosing to pay their tolls using the electronic toll devices instead of paying cash. For instance, road users who pay the tolls using the eTag electronic payment device enjoy a reduction off the standard toll tariffs for their class of vehicle.
b.) The Frequent User Discount, which enables road users registered to use the eTag enjoy discounts of up to 70% off the standard toll for their class of vehicle, depending on how often they use the road. For road-users who choose to pay electronically using eTag, the more trips they make in a given month, the less they will pay. The Frequent User Discount is in addition to the 10% discount already offered to eTag users at registration.
c.) The Public Transport Discount offers commercial Danfo buses a 47% reduction off the standard toll tariff for vehicles in their class. With registration to pay for their tolls using eTag, Danfo buses are be able to qualify for the Frequent User Discount and enjoy discounts of up to 70%.
10. Road users who choose to pay their tolls using cash can also save their time by taking advantage of the exact fare lanes, which allow them to pay the exact toll required for their vehicle without having to wait for change.
If you found this informative, you’re welcome.