…Reads Riot Act To Traffic Offenders, Orders Strict Enforcement
…Commiserates With LASTMA Over Slain Officer, Approves N10million Compensation
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday ordered the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and all the relevant security agencies to henceforth strictly enforce the provisions of the State traffic laws to bring about sanity on the roads.
The Governor has also ordered the State Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice to immediately increase the number of Mobile Court in the State to twenty to summarily prosecute traffic offenders to serve as deterrent to others who might want to indulge in the violation of traffic laws.
Speaking to reporters after a strategic session with LASTMA leadership and heads of other security agencies in the State at LASTMA head office in Oshodi to address the traffic situation and the unfortunate killing of a LASTMA officer last week, Governor Ambode said the State Government would not fold its arms and allow the violation of the laws, hence the decision to order enforcement of the laws with immediate effect.
“For Lagosians, it is very clear that government will not continue to fold their arms and allow our officers to continue to be in areas of danger. First, I will appeal to all of you that we must obey traffic laws. Secondly, we cannot turn this state into a state of lawlessness. So, from this moment onward, all our security agencies and also all the officers that are concerned have been directed to discipline any traffic offender that is arrested.
“Government will go down and deal squarely with any traffic offender from this moment onward. We cannot allow people to continue to commit offences for which we need to discipline for. We don’t want people to take advantage and say this is Christmas or election period, we have majority of our people to protect and we have the majority of our people to also make sure that they use the roads safely. So, we will not allow traffic offenders to go scot-free anymore,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor added that aside the Mobile Court, Police officers have also been increased to patrol the nooks and crannies of the State to ensure security and free-flow of traffic.
According to him, “We have also directed the Attorney General and also the Ministry of Justice to increase the number of Mobile Court to twenty immediately and traffic offenders will be tried instantly on the spot and where the case is that we might not allow offenders to take that option of fine, we will send them to community service or make sure that our Magistrates take the hardest part of the options so that they will act as deterrent to others that are complying with the rules and regulations of traffic and everything that we have on the roads, as we proceed.
“I want to also let Lagosians understand that we have increased the number of police officers that we have deployed to all the nooks and crannies of the State and we assure everybody that we will enjoy a crime-free holiday and also a crime-free elections in this State, while police officers have also been directed to compliment the efforts of traffic officers and also to ensure that the streets are safe and everybody that is law abiding goes about his or her business without any fear and molestation,” he said.
While commiserating with LASTMA over the killing of one of its officers, Mr Rotimi Adeyemo, Governor Ambode said the incident was one too many, revealing that a total of eighteen officers were lost to such unfortunate situation, and twenty-four permanently incapacitated in various hospitals in the last one year.
“Just last week, we lost one of our LASTMA officers in the person of Rotimi Adeyemo who met his untimely death while controlling traffic. So, I have come here on behalf of government to commiserate with all the LASTMA officers in their office. Now, I want Lagosians to understand something and that is as at today, we have lost eighteen LASTMA officers while performing their lawful duty on behalf of the State, and another twenty-four are permanently incapacitated in various hospitals just this year alone as I speak.
“We have not been churning out this data just because we believe Lagosians will understand that these men and women that we put on the line of duty are harmless and they don’t have anything to protect them than just traffic laws which they are enforcing.
“This is a sober moment for us but again I need to encourage and further appeal to all our law enforcement officers, most especially LASTMA officers that this government is with them and we would do everything to protect their lives and also create an atmosphere to allow them to do their work properly,” Governor Ambode said, just as he announced the approval of N10million compensation to the family of the deceased officer.
Also, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal said the synergy between the security agencies and traffic officers would now be intensified to ensure that they are safe and they work longer periods, just as urged Lagosians to continue to be law abiding and promptly report any security breach around them.
Among those who attended the meeting are heads of all security agencies, members of the State Executive Council, CEO of LASTMA, Chris Olakpe; General Manager of the agency, Mr Olawale Musa; Chairman, Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, DIG (Rtrd) Israel Ajao; Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Mr. Hyginus Omeje; State Commander, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, Mr. Tajudeen Balogun among others.
…Orders Contractors To Speed Up Work
The Lagos State Government on Sunday ordered contractors handling major ongoing projects across the State to speed up work to bring relief and comfort to motorists and residents, assuring that no efforts would be spared to ensure the delivery of the projects on schedule.
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Adebowale Akinsanya who said this after embarking on extensive inspection tour of ongoing projects in the State, said the government was not oblivious of the difficulties being experienced by motorists, adding that concerted efforts were on to seriously bring it under control.
He said with the rains subsiding, Lagosians should expect increased pace of work by contractors handling various projects, just as he assured that the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode was seriously committed to the delivery of the projects.
According to him, “I have just inspected the progress of work on Airport Road, Pen Cinema Flyover, Oshodi Transport Interchange, Onikan Stadium, Oshodi-Abule-Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and JK Randle Centre For Yoruba Culture and History.
“The inspection tour is at the instance of His Excellency the Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who has equally given contractors handling various projects across the State matching orders to expedite work.
“You see, with the rains subsiding, the State Government is leaving no stone unturned to rev up the projects and bring the truly deserved comfort to the people as well as improve on the aesthetics of the State and that is why all hands are on deck to ensure completion of the projects on schedule,” Akinsanya said.
He said the projects were deliberately embarked upon to align the State with the league of cities with world class infrastructures thus making Lagos to be globally competitive, adding that the gains of the investment of the present administration in provision of critical infrastructure would soon be positively felt on a large scale in all sectors.
On the traffic situation, the Commissioner said while potholes were being fixed day and night, the traffic management team of the State Government had equally jerked up activities, adding that other initiatives were being put in place to address the situation with the urgency required.
“As I speak to you, the Public Works Corporation has intensified their rehabilitation of potholes across the State. We were initially held back by the rains, but with the dry season now, more roads have been covered in the last one month and we appeal to Lagosians to be patient, if you have not seen them in your area, they will get their soon,” he assured.
Recruits 1000 LASTMA Officials, To Work 5am-12midnight Daily
…Warns Against Destruction Of Public Utilities, Harassment Of Traffic Officers
Worried by the perennial traffic situation motorists have been contending with in recent times, the Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has fashioned out workable solutions to ensure free flow of traffic across the State, especially as the yuletide season approaches.
Rising from a closed-door strategic session chaired by State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and attended by top officials of the Ministry of Transportation, State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal and Chairman of the State Task Force on Environmental Offences, SP Yinka Egbeyemi, among others, the Government said it had resolved to immediately implement the solutions to ensure Lagosians can commute across the State with ease going forward.
Addressing Government House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson said the Governor had called for the session to fine tune strategies for all agencies and stakeholders involved to implement so as to ameliorate the traffic situation and also ensure security of lives and property.
“What we have done is that we have gotten feedback from men and women who have been on the frontline specifically our LASTMA officials and then the Commissioner of Police was with us as well to give us the perspective of security.
“So most of the issues have been thrown up and we have together as a group strategized on it and we have come up with what we think are solutions to make for better flow of traffic especially as we enter the ember months and the holiday season.
“Without a doubt, Lagosians we know have been going through some hardship which has been occasioned by the gridlock we have in the Apapa area for which on that one, the Lagos State Executive Council has a solution in sight, all we are going through now is approval process that is required to activate the solution.
“But specific to the free flow of traffic, you can see with me here, I have the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, I have the CEO of LASTMA and the GM LASTMA and all the senior LASTMA officials and we have come up with solutions that we trust will ensure that there is better flow of traffic especially as we enter the holiday season and Lagosians will start to see the effect of the work that we have done,” Lawanson said.
Explaining some of the strategies that would be adopted, the Chief Executive Officer of LASTMA, Chris Olakpe a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, said the 1000 officials recently recruited by the Agency would be trained and deployed to the road before the end of the year.
He said the agency has also resolved to extend its operations from 5am to 12 midnight on a daily basis, saying that while the State Government continues its palliative on potholes, LASTMA officials would be on ground to ensure free flow of traffic across those areas.
“The issue of palliative on the potholes, the meeting resolved to handle it in two ways; day time and night time. Night time mostly with travel signal lights and flood lights on ground for palliative to be made immediately from today, action would be seen that palliative will come and there would be smooth flow of traffic.
“Don’t forget that the Governor has recruited 1000 more LASTMA officials so we are going to train them and very shortly too before Christmas you would see them on the way and we intend to work from 5am to 12 midnight daily with the infusion of 1000 men,” Olakpe said.
On the Apapa gridlock, the LASTMA boss said that the trailer park in Orile would be delivered very soon, expressing optimism that it would go a long way to address the issue of trailers parking along roads and bridges and causing congestion on such routes.
“The issue of the trailer park which is in the front burner is being given expedite action and we are sure that in a short while we should have the trailer park being effective to cushion the effect of the standoff trailers along the bridges and other places so the trailer park is being given a special and strategic attention and that palliative would be concluded very shortly as fast as the speed of light,” he said.
Olakpe, however, frowned at the spate of destruction of public facilities, especially wire barriers and signal lights meant to make life easier for motorists and residents, appealing to those in the habit of doing such to desist or risk facing the full consequences of the law if caught in the act.
“We have observed to our chagrin and dismay the vandalisation of wire barriers and signal lights. They are frustrating the efforts of government. As government is moving forward, they are taking them backward by untoward conduct.
“So we want to say that from now, it has been resolved that those places would be fully backed up with man power in surveillance and monitoring strategy. So warn those who are the spoilers of good deeds that the hands of the law will catch up with them very soon,” he said.
Olakpe also warned against harassment and assault of LASTMA officials by recalcitrant motorists, saying that such act attracts a jail term of two and half years without option of fine.
…As Work On Oworonshoki Lagoon Reclamation Reach Advanced Stage
In furtherance of the intermodal transportation system of Lagos State Government, all is now set for the commissioning of an ultra-modern ferry terminal and new access road in Ilaje-Bariga area of the State.
The State Government, in a statement on Sunday by Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya, said the ferry terminal and the newly upgraded road were part of the initiatives of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration to further scale up the integrated transportation initiative of the State Government aimed at ensuring seamless connectivity within the State.
According to him, the access road and the terminal would be commissioned by the State Government by mid November 2018.
Giving details, Akinsanya said: “The terminal situated at the tail end of the upgraded Ilaje Road which provides access to the terminal from Akoka Road, abuts the lagoon front facing the Third Mainland Bridge.
“The state-of-the-art terminal sitting on a reclaimed land area of over 2000 square meter, has a parking facility that will accommodate no fewer than 150 cars and ample space for park and ride buses for those that will want to park their cars to get to their various destinations through the terminal by ferry.”
He added that ferry services would be provided from the terminal to connect other existing terminals such as Ipakodo and Badore in Ikorodu axis, Badore in Ajah axis, recently commissioned Five Cowrie Creek Terminal in Falomo, Marina Terminal, among others.
The Commissioner said the Ilaje terminal, in addition to a well lit surrounding, had been designed with other complementary facilities such as ticketing office, passengers seating area, restaurant, mini mart, shops, toilets, seat-out area for relaxation, boat yard as well as security watch towers.
On the road, he said the newly upgraded 1.1km Ilaje Road with carriageway and width of 8meters, is equipped with a bicycle lane, street lights as well as covered side drains which serves as walk way.
“Transportation in Lagos is predominantly road-based and it is pertinent to state that the administration of Governor Ambode has made concerted efforts to reduce the pressure on the roads with the aim of promoting an integrated transportation system.
“In this quest, the administration is progressively taking advantage of the vast waterways that Lagos is endowed with by embarking on waterfront infrastructure projects including dredging of predetermined viable waterways routes to provide alternative and reduce the travel time of road users,” Akinsanya said.
He said aside the new road and ferry terminal in Ilaje, a new transportation and tourism hub was being proposed at Oworonshoki by the foot of Third Mainland Bridge, which is a stone throw from the Ilaje Terminal.
“The reclamation of the area is presently at advanced stage and it is designed to accommodate another ferry terminal, shopping areas, bus terminals and relaxation facilities.
“With the commissioning of the Ilaje terminal, the residents of Bariga, Akoka and environs will, among other benefits, enjoy shortened travel time to their destinations under a more relaxed and stress-free condition. It would also result into savings in transport cost and reduction in vehicle maintenance cost aggravated by the present condition of our roads that State Government is assiduously working upon,” Akinsanya said.