The Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge

The new bridge! It links Lekki 1 to Ikoyi. It has not been opened to the public yet, it was built under a concession and I hear it will be tolled at 500 per crossing, I do not know if this is correct…

This bridge tells a story. It’s a story of growth, progress and newness but also one of stagnation and a deepening divide! A chasm growing wider with time and seasons! This bridge links the aspirations of new money in the Lekki Corridor to the growing consternation of old money in Ikoyi, both surburbs of Lagos State, Nigeria.  And while the links between the 2 are inevitable, the new thriving off the old and the old adapting to the ways of the new- I mean, who new at 56, we’ll be learning to tweet and advertising on Facebook… While the links are inevitable,they draw a greater line! At the proposed 500 naira toll by the LCC, to go one way across that bridge would take 3 days wages for the 70% who live under a dollar a day! And if they insist? One way they’ll go, work 7 days on the other side, only to cross again and have only 1 days effort in their pockets! Back to the one dollar they started off with! Sounds funny I know, but by this bridge a line is drawn!  “We have!” “We have had!” “You don’t have but if you give us what you have, we’ll take it and impoverish you all the more!” Or else, stay in your space, because this bridge that links Ikoyi to Lekki 1 is tolled at 500 naira not to make life easier for all but to put us each in our own class! This bridge tells a story and it tells it loud and clear!

P.S: this is one of the reasons I love WordPress! it is a community that encourages you to write. This week, we are to write on something iconic in our community and just this morning, I’d stopped to take a picture of this new bridge, that’s beautiful, set across gleaming blue waters but which indeed tells a story! I sincerely hope this bridge will not be tolled at 500 naira a crossing! I don’t see how that makes any sense in Nigeria of today.



7 replies to “The Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge

  1. What an astute analysis of what the bridge symbolises, particularly if the toll fare rumours are true. On the one hand, it is a symbol of beauty and on the other – a further demarcation between rich and poor. Good post.

  2. It is a scary thought that such a charge could be possibly cleared for operation. That would be an insulting and intolerable divide if that was the case.

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing that Deena, they do look remarkably similar, I won’t be surprised if inspiration for this one was drawn from the one in Jerusalem. The bridge is beautiful and adds to the Lagos skyline, the problem with it, is it totally defeats the aim of a public private partnership (PPP), where government provides a service it should normally provide by granting a concession to a private sector participant, thus taking it off the budget of the government. The private sector participant is then meant to make its money slowly and over the concessioned period. Here it all goes wrong because the “over time element” seems to have been taken out and now the citizenry has to pay more than it can be expected to afford for a service which should have been provided by the government in the first place.

  3. With the old toll gate and its issues unresolved,the 500 Naira being envisaged to be the toll for the new ‘bridge’ sure ‘draws a line’….It’s sure not going to make PPP what PPP is..

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