#EndSARS: We’ve Lost Over N2.5bn to Lekki Toll Gate Closure—MD

February 16, 2021
Lekki Toll gate

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) has disclosed that over N2.5 billion has been lost to the closure of the popular Lekki Tollgate.

The facility was shut down after the October 20, 2020, incident where some peaceful #EndSARS protesters were allegedly shot by the military.

The concessionaire of the Lekki Tollgate, through its Managing Director, Mr Yomi Omomuwasan, while addressing journalists on Monday, said efforts are still ongoing to determine the extent of losses incurred as a result of the halt to its operations.

He said this is one of the reasons the management is pushing for the resumption of operations to make a proper assessment of the loss.

“Why do we need to go back? Our going back into operation will not be immediate. It will take some time, not one month, maybe three months.

“Don’t forget our assets were completely insured and our insurance companies need to go there and assess the level of damage and the assets burnt. We will require a team of engineers because we operate an electronic tolling system.

“We need proper and full assessment which I believe will take some time. We are going to do civil work, some electrical cables and so on.

“I am not sure it will happen within three months. That is why I said we must go back. We also have some staff that were asked to stay home, about 500 of them, 90 per cent of them are youths,” he informed newsmen.

Mr Omomuwasan further said the company is currently indebted to local and foreign creditors to the tune of N11.5 billion and $31 million respectively.

He added that as of 2011, the firm was owing commercial banks in Nigeria nothing less than N24 billion and the International Development Bank, $49 million.

He said payment of the debt has been stalled, following a moratorium granted on it since October 2020 when the tollgate was shut due to the #EndSARS protest.

He said, “It has been impossible to meet our loan repayment obligations- and obligations to our workers- given our inability to collect tolls, the main revenue source from which the repayment was contractually expected to come.

“Again, this explains where the bulk of our earnings goes, contrary to the false claims on social media that the toll plaza is a cash cow. If we default in payment of these loans, the implications for the business community are too grave to be imagined.”

He further explained that the lenders are requesting for the assessment of the damages to the toll gates as a result of the crisis, saying this is one of the reasons why it sought to take repossession of the tollgate.

“The banks want a formal report and if we don’t go back to do the assessment, it will be extremely impossible to give the report,” he added.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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