The group asked Lagos government to provide more details on the planned buy-back.
The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations, has queried the Lagos State government over its decision to buy back the concession rights of the Lekki-Epe expressway.
In a letter addressed to Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, the group questioned how the state arrived at the N7.5 billion used to buy back the rights from Lekki Concession Company (LCC).
Last month, the House of Assembly had approved a N7.5 billion supplementary budget for the acquisition of the concession. The state government had also justified its decision to buy back the rights, stating that there were several developments not envisaged in the 2006 Concession Agreement.
The anti-corruption group also asked for an assessment and review of financial and physical commitment of LCC to the project in arriving at the N7.8 billion being paid by the government.
“How much has been spent so far on the construction of the Eti Osa-Lekki-Epe expressway vis-a-vis the initial projected costs.
“How much has been recouped from toll fees on the road since 2011? In addition to N4B paid from Lagos State coffer to LCC in 2012,” the group asked.
“With the abrupt transfer of ownership and management, what is the transfer process design of the Lagos State Government?”
The Lagos State government had announced it engaged in buying back the concession rights of the 49 kilometre expressway ahead of the 30-year period stipulated in the Design, Build, Operate, and Transfer (DBOT) Concession Agreement.
In a statement jointly signed by Ade Ipaye and Ayo Gbelegi, Commissioners for Justice and Finance respectively, the state said that it felt obliged to buy out the interests of the LCC in advance of the hand-over date of 2038 under a mutual settlement option also expressly provided for in the Concession Agreement.
“Contrary to the misleading reports by some sections of the media on Wednesday, August 27, 2013, from the State House of Assembly’s consideration and approval of the 2013 Supplementary Budget, the buy-back is not and does not amount to a ‘termination’ or ‘cancellation’ of the concession of Eti-Osa, Lekki-Epe Expressway,” the statement said.
“The significance of the buy-back, for which the State Government deserves commendation, is that it allows the Government to take full control over the determination of the toll rates in order to continue to make it affordable for road users,” the statement added.