Wednesday, July 07, 2010

LCC proposes two e-payment modules for Lekki toll plaza

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) has proposed to deploy two types of electronic payment (e-payment) modules, namely, Swiftpass card and eTag on the Lekki toll road, soon to be opened.

Managing Director, LCC, Mr. Opuiyo Oforiokuma, made this revelation in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, last week, noting that the proposal to introduce electronic payment does not exclude payment of cash.

He said that the electronic payment modules have advantage over cash payment of toll fare, stressing that e-payment incentives, enables eTag, for instance to offer the highest price incentive, followed by the SwiftPass users, while cash customers pay the standard tariff.

He also highlighted that there are incentives for frequent users, bulk purchase and public transport discount.

Oforiokuma explained that frequent users would have an incentive for customers that exceed a threshold of passages through toll plaza in any given month, who would enjoy a price reduction from the standard tariff.

On the bulk purchase, he said, this is applicable to individuals and entities whose road usage pattern is consistent over a period of time and thus allows them to receive some discount over a specified period, while the public transport discount is meant exclusively for ‘danfos’ and ‘okadas’.

Further, Oforiokuma, who was accompanied at the briefing by the Head, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Mr. Charles Imevbore, elucidated that eTag is an electronic payment device that is prefunded and used to pay for passage at the toll plazas.

“eTags are affixed to the inner side of your vehicle windscreen and will be damaged or deactivated if not properly handled,” he said.

He listed some key merits of eTag to include that such vehicles receive the highest price incentives based on the payment of lowest toll tariff and enjoy the use of dedicated express lanes, which offers the fastest and most convenient access.

“It provides the fastest and most convenient access through the toll plazas as you don’t have to stop as you drive through,” he said, pointing out that eTag is secured to a vehicle and if removed, it would automatically deactivates, thereby checkmating theft.

Additionally, he said, that eTag is provided with either a SwiftPass Plus card or SwiftPass Commercial card for the purposes of managing the account of the eTag customer.

“eTag-SwiftPass Plus is designed for the use of private or corporate vehicle owners, whereas the SwiftPass commercial is for the use of commercial bus operators only,” he said.

Oforiokuma noted, however, that SwiftPass card anonymous is a contactless card that facilitates electronic payment at the toll plazas and could be used advantageously than cash because it is more convenient and cheaper option.

Plans, he said, have been concluded with some banks along the Lekki-Epe axis to serve as Point of Sale (POS) outlets for registering customers account apart from the LCC customer service centre at the Admiralty Circle Plaza.

Some of these banks include First Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

He emphasised that topping up an account, especially on the eTag and SwiftPass platforms could be accomplished at the aforementioned POS outlets and at the LCC official website, www.lcc.com.ng.

The LCC boss insisted that the precise amount of tariff would be made public, at least two weeks before the commencement of toll collection.

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