The Lagos State administration declared Monday that any attempt by citizens to humiliate or harm a traffic officer will not be tolerated, and that anyone who engages in such behaviour should cease or face the consequences.
Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, stated in his keynote address at the first Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1FM and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) traffic engagement forum, with the theme: ‘Repositioning of Traffic Information Agencies for Better Performance,’ that the state government would continue to prosecute anyone engaging in the primitive act, noting that it is now common to find motorists throwing verbal abuse.
However, according to Omotoso, some traffic officers are enforcing the law too strictly, neglecting their statutory mandate of assisting in traffic management.
“This, for me, is a significant avenue for capacity building for the two major agencies,” the commissioner said of the collaboration between the two government agencies targeted at reducing traffic and addressing gridlock. This is essential because the engagement provides a powerful platform for the two organisations to synergize, strategize, and expand on their previous working relationship, which has had a positive impact on traffic management.
“It is important to note that the establishment of both organisations is a strategic traffic decongestion intervention. LASTMA’s inception in the year 2000 aided in the management of the chaotic traffic that characterised Lagos from the 1970s to the 2000s.”
He went on to say that since LASTMA’s arrival on the transportation scene, traffic management has improved significantly, decreasing traffic jams that used to stretch for miles throughout the city.
Omotoso emphasised that Lagos Traffic Radio is a necessity, stating that its spectacular introduction into the transportation industry almost a decade ago was formed out of the need to give much-needed information to help commuters plan their routes in order to reduce travel time across the city.
The job of both institutions, according to Commissioner of Transportation Frederic Oladehinde, is life-saving, not only for citizens of the state but also for motorists navigating the city’s different roads and highways.
The commissioner, who was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Transportation, Azeez Toriola, stated that the current administration will not rest on its oars until road users have free flow of traffic, as seen by the various improvements in transportation infrastructure in the State.
On his part, the Lagos State Government’s Head of Service (HoS), Hakeem Muri-Okunola, represented by Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Kamar, praised all stakeholders’ efforts.