Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Toll drama

So a while ago, the Lekki - Epe expressway in Lagos was expanded and improved in a partnership between the state government and a private company and tolling was introduced for the first time on an intra city road. This development was received with mixed feelings from my humble self and many other residents of the area. I personally did not believe that it was good idea to toll the road when it was an existing structure and no "proper" alternative was offered. That is not to say that believed it was feasible, afterall everyone who goes into business does so for the purpose of making a profit. However I thought the toll could have been easier on the pocket. Anyway tolling began at midnight on the appointed day amidst heavy armed guard. A few days later, residents of the area came out to protest the "perceived" injustice. Amongst them were a bunch of high profile individuals. They made their point (I think) but sadly, achieved
Fast forward a few months and I met one of the "toll activists" at a friend's place. We happened to be chatting outside by my car when she noticed the etag on my windscreen (the etag is a device linked to a pre paid account which allows automatic passage at the toll gate) She seemed really upset that I had the device. She called me a traitor albeit in jest but I was amazed at her reaction. I didn't and still don't see any reason why I shouldn't have it as it makes my life easier. What's the point enduring the long queues when I still have to pay regardless of the method? She claimed that she would rather go the other mostly "hellish" route and would only pay if she feels like it when she uses the tolled road in exceptional cases. Oh well, to each his own! So you can probably imagine my shock when I saw this same person a few days ago breezing past the dedicated etag lane!!
What can have changed in this situation particularly? Help me out guys. People often suggest that protesters often do what they do so solely for the purpose of getting "settled". I try not to be so cynical but hey...


  1. Toll introduction on intra-city roads by the powers that be,is downright dubious and provocative in all its dimensions. Road construction,rehabilitation or development is the responsibility of government,taking into account lagosians are tax payers. Need i ask,who are the owners of this private company??

  2. Ha ha... A funny but - surely - hardly surprising story... I suppose a plausible reason why no fruitful results come out of such protests is that the authorities are only too familiar with the protagonist... Until such half hearted hypocrisy with the often attendant - verbal diarrhoea induced - lip service is brought to an end, one fears no real tangible progress of long term significance will come to this potentially great nation... Dough :)

  3. that person is using the lane but obviously not paying toll. dont ask me how i know or how they are able to do so.