By Ifeanyi Okolie
THE management of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, has denied news report, accusing its officials of extorting money from trailer drivers bringing in foodstuff into the state from the Northern part of the country which prompted the drivers to embark on strike recently.
Reacting to the news report, LASTMAâ€™s Press and Public Relations Officer, Adeyinka Gbemibade, said: â€œThe story added further that as a result of LASTMA extortion, the truck drivers went on strike and prices of foodstuff had skyrocketed.
â€œWe emphatically state that LASTMA is not responsible for any planned withdrawal of service by trailer drivers who usually bring foodstuff from the northen part of the country into the state, because LASTMA does not collect toll or levy on transported goods.
â€œLASTMA does not and will not extort foodstuff truck drivers. In addition, the authority has not received any of such complains from the truck drivers neither has such report been made at our office.
â€œOur investigation revealed that the truck drivers had not planned any protest because of LASTMA, rather it was as a result of levies they usually pay (outside Lagos State) in the course of transporting their goods from the northern part of the country to the state. We will appreciate if journalists verify their reports properly before they are published.â€