Toll collection at Lekki will not resume soon, says the LCC

Robert Egbe and Oyebola Owolabi

The concession company Lekki (LCC) said on Monday that the continuation of toll collection on the salary could take months due to the scale of the damage caused to the salary.

Its CEO, Yomi Omomuwasan, spoke at a media briefing along with Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Gbeng Omotoso.

The event was a response to the controversy surrounding the return of the company to the hands of the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza, popularly known as Lekki Tollgate.

Omomuwasan called on aggrieved young people seeking to prevent the firm from assessing the damage done to its assets on October 20, 2020, to show understanding.

The head of the LCC regretted that some people used fake news to misinform Nigerians about the company’s ownership and to incite public sentiment against its return to business.

He cited the company’s indebtedness to banks and the fate of over 500 workers as necessary reasons why the damage assessment should begin without further delay.

According to him, the LCC’s assets were “comprehensively insured” before they burned down and insurance companies should examine the extent of the damage.

Omomuwasan said: “An assessment of the burnt items will require a team of engineers from the LCC and those working with us. What we do business is an electronic toll collection system that requires collecting a lot of equipment. We need to make this correct and critical assessment, and it takes time …

“It’s not something that will happen in a month. I’m not sure this will happen within three months due to the extent of the damage. “

The head of the LCC explained that the firm denied access to forensic experts to its servers because a letter it brought from the State Judicial Investigation Council in Lagos stated that the audit would focus only on the scene of the shooting and not on its servers.

MD said his company expected the analyst to return with another letter with relevant content, but did not receive them.

He explained that the return of the company to operation has a negative impact on existing loans to local and international lenders, road maintenance, as well as ancillary services.

Omomuwasan said: “As of January 31, 2021, the outstanding debts of local lenders amounted to N11.6 billion, and from foreign lenders 31.1 million USD (USD), with the difference in the amount paid by LCC so far lenders.

“It is important to say that before the #EndSARS protest, the LCC continued to meet with servicing its lending obligations without delay to lenders.

“However, since the beginning of the #EndSARS protest, the violent takeover of the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza and the unfortunate incident on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, we have had to repeatedly advocate a moratorium with our local and international lenders. It was impossible to fulfill our loan repayment obligations and obligations to our workers … ”