LCC BUY OUT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF LAGOSIANS – HAMZAT
Lagosians will be the ultimate beneficiary of the proposed buy back of the concession given in Y2006 by the Lagos State Government to the LCC for the expansion of the Lekki Epe Expressway.
According to the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, the plan currently being negotiated with the company seeks to ensure that the State Economic Interest is served.
Responding to media question on the delay in the introduction of the second toll at the Ministry’s End of Year Media Session, the Commissioner explained that negotiations are still on-going and appropriate position resulting from the negotiations will be published.
He noted that part of the issues being considered is the payment structure especially given the fact that credits were obtained by the Company in dollar terms while toll is being collected in Naira; a situation which implies that fluctuations in exchange rate will affect the Company’s remittances and repayment plans.
Dr. Hamzat futher said a decision is yet to be taken by the State Government on the second toll but that government has so far resisted any proposal to increase the amount payable as toll.
He also noted that the various projects of the State government, especially road projects are sometimes delayed through resistance by some people through court actions and procedures when Federal Agencies are involved.
Citing the examples of pedestrian bridge at the Cement Bus Stop, the Ago Palace Way and Ipaja Ayobo Road, Hamzat explained that court actions by owners of properties affected by the project have delayed their completion.
On the Ipaja Ayobo, the Commissioner said obtaining approval for relocation from NNPC, Federal Ministry of Works and PHCN all of which had facilities on the road meant the time envisaged changed.
He also noted that relocation of services in built-up areas often put significant strain on project cost. He added that PHCN’s Pylons are difficult to relocate as is the case with the Ayobo road. He assured that the project will surely be delivered soonest.
While also stating that the completion of Ago-Palace Way, Meiran Road and Egbe-Liasu Road have been awarded to companies already engaged in their previous phases, Dr. Hamzat assured that the State Government is committed to completing all on-going projects rather than commencing new ones in the current year.
He also stated that there was no discrimination against indigenous contractors in the State Government award of its contract. He said the only condition for award is performance.
He commended the performance of Consteng Nigeria Limited for the realization of the Adisa Ajibulu Road and Bridge project originally awarded to Moreno but terminated for non performance.
The Commissioner further urged the people affected by the construction of drainage channels along the Ejigbo road to bear with the State Government saying that the need for a proper drainage cannot by overemphasized.
He stated that as a State 2 metres below sea level drainage must be made to specification so as to properly drain the roads.
Ministry of Works and Infrastructure