House of Assembly
Femi Durojaiye â€¨
The Lagos State House of Assembly Thursday grilled for hours, some members of the executive over the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.
The assembly had summoned the Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Obafemi Hamzat and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Private Partnership (PPP), Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, for clarifications on the tolling of the bridge. The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, also joined the team.
The lawmakers queried the tolling of the bridge, which was constructed with taxpayers' money, especially without legislative approval.
Hon. Ibrahim Layode (Badagry I) directed the team to section 10(7) of the PPP Act that stipulates that the approval of the assembly must be sought before toll collection.
Deputy Speaker, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, who had to take on the team, wondered if the plight of residents was taken into consideration in deciding on tolling the bridge. "We must be very careful in the way we carry on. We need to be very open. I'm not convinced by the analysis of Mr. Gbeleyi," Taiwo said.
He stressed that in the selection process of the tolling company, there ought to have been open bidding to allow transparency.
According to him, local investors ought to have been given preference instead of contracting the toll collection out to a South African company.
"I'm surprise why we need an international partner to toll our own bridge when we have our own engineers," he said.
However, in defence, Hamzat lamented the poor state of engineers in the country, adding that at the initial stage before the construction of the link bridge, the state government had to wait for six months to train welders to work on the bridge.
He explained that there was no need comparing the tolling system of the bridge with that of Murtala Muhammed Airport as the state's own was done in line with international standard.