The Lagos State Government on Wednesday reiterated its determination to tackle the traffic gridlock in the metropolis by putting in place multi-strategic solutions to address the challenge currently being encountered by motorists in some parts of the state.
Addressing a joint press conference, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has shown deep concern over the persistent traffic gridlock in the state and has therefore directed the agencies concerned to swing into action to decongest traffic in the metropolis.
’’This press briefing is initiated at the instance of the Governor who has expressed growing concern arising from complains from members of the public, arising from feedback and from experiences recorded about few days ago by motorists in Lagos. He is greatly concerned from this feedback and as a result of which necessitated we address Lagosians” he said.
Adeyemi who was joined at the briefing by his counterparts in the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ministry of the Environment and heads of traffic management agencies, highlighted some of the efforts being put in place by the present administration to ensure that traffic gridlock becomes a thing of the past.
He said apart from new traffic management initiatives involving new enforcement methods by LASTMA, government has also put in place an inter agency collaboration to unlock traffic across the State.
He said that LASTMA has issued over 500 tickets to traffic offenders in the last one month, warning motorists not to misrepresent the Governor’s directive to LASTMA on the arrest of traffic offenders, noting that the order was meant to make traffic managers more civil in the apprehension of traffic offenders.
“We have noticed that this gridlock in fact, a lot of people have alleged that it has a connection with the announcement of His Excellency about the activities of LASTMA The era where you see a LASTMA official impounding vehicle on the highway or motorist trying to struggle with LASTMA official, we are saying we want to do it in a civilised way. We are not saying we are not going to enforce, but what the state government is saying is that you have to go through some processes where enforcement at the end of the day will be the last resort”, Adeyemi said.
Reiterating the fact that the law restricting the movement of articulated vehicles to the hours of 9am and 6pm is still in place, Adeyemi said that only vehicles carrying wet cargo, and long vehicles carrying staff are exempted from the law.
Permanent Secretary Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ajibade Bade-Adebowale, said on-going construction works on over 190 roads being rehabilitated across the state contributed in no small measure to traffic gridlock.
He however assured that the Public Works Corporation and other contractors handling the projects have been issued directives to expedite actions to ensure that the projects are completed immediately.
He expressed optimism that the completion of the roads will ensure smooth driving thereby easing traffic gridlock.
On his part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, Mr Toyin Onisarotu, said that the Law banning street trading within the metropolis is still in force while reiterating the determination of the ministry to ensure a zero tolerance to those who obstruct smooth flow of the traffic by either displaying their wares on median and walkways or those who trade in traffic.