The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) on Monday said resumption of tolling at the plaza may take months because of the extent of the damage done to the plaza.
Its Managing Director Yomi Omomuwasan spoke at a media briefing alongside Lagos State Information and Strategy Commissioner Gbenga Omotoso.
The event was in response to the controversy surrounding the firm’s repossession of the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza, popularly called Lekki Tollgate.
Omomuwasan urged aggrieved youths bent on preventing the firm from the evaluation of the damage done to its assets on October 20, 2020 to show understanding.
The LCC chief regretted that some people were using fake news to misinform Nigerians about the company’s ownership and whip up public sentiment against its return to business.
He cited the firm’s indebtedness to banks and the fate of its over 500 workers as the compelling reasons the damage assessment ought to begin without further delay.
According to him, LCC’s assets were “comprehensively insured” before they were burnt and that the insurance companies need to examine the extent of the damage. We need to do this proper and critical assessment, and it takes some time…
“It is not something that will happen within a month. I am not sure this will happen within three months, because of the extent of what has been damaged.”
The LCC chief explained that the firm denied a forensic expert access to its servers because the letter he brought from the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry said the audit would only focus on the site of the shooting and not its servers.
The MD said his company expected the analyst to return with another letter with appropriate content, but had not received any.
He explained that the non-return of the company to operation was negatively affecting its subsisting loan obligations to local and international lenders, maintenance of the road, as well as its ancillary services.
Omomuwasan said: “As of January 31, 2021, the outstanding debt liability from the local lenders was in the region of N11.6 billion and from the foreign lenders $31.1 million (USD), with the difference being the amount LCC has so far paid the lenders.
“It is important to say that before the #EndSARS protest, LCC had continued to meet up with servicing its loan obligations without default to the lenders.
“However, since the commencement of the #EndSARS protest, the forceful takeover of the Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza and the unfortunate incident of Tuesday, October 20, 2020, we have had to plead for moratorium repeatedly with our local and international lenders. It has been impossible to meet our loan repayment obligations and obligations to our workers…”
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