By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Tuesday, commissioned one of the stateâ€™s five driversâ€™ institutes at Ikorodu Local Government Area, saying with the establishment and commissioning of the centre, the state government is poised to ensure re-certification of motorists in the state.
The centre which is to be managed by the state Ministry of Transportation, Fashola explained that the measure was another significant steps aimed at enhancing safety and sanity on Lagos roads.
The second of the centres will be commisioned in Ikeja tomorrow.
His words: â€œAs we hand over for public use, one of our planned five new Lagos State Driversâ€™ Institute (LASDRI), the driversâ€™ institute which commences operation today will immediately begin to function to ensure that all public and private drivers on our roads have the requisite skills, knowledge and temperament to drive safely on our highways.
â€œEven as we continue to aggressively construct new roads throughout the state and systematically enhance our traffic management capacity, we recognise the need for drivers to continuously update their driving skills and awareness of traffic regulations if we are to achieve the desired level of road safety in a mega-city like Lagos,â€ he said.
Fashola disclosed that preliminary research indicated that the lack of traffic knowledge and poor attitude by the general public were the most critical challenges responsible for majority of pollutions and in many cases, traffic congestion.
â€œThrough these initiatives being unveiled today, we are creating wealth, jobs and opportunities. The operations of our driversâ€™ institute, crushers, lane markings and towing programmes will generate at least 1,000 additional direct jobs and another 5,000 indirect jobs while also significantly simulating the informal sector,â€ Fashola stated.
He, therefore, appealed to the private sector to seize the opportunity to invest in the sector, adding: â€œLet us continue to unlock the gridlocks and keep Lagos traffic moving.â€
Earlier, in his address at the event, the state Commissioner for Transportation, Prof Bamidele Badejo said as a responsible state government through his ministry had invested a lot of resources in traffic management, control and enforcement to ensure free movement of goods and services devoid of usual traffic congestion.
He further explained that the institute is to address the last and the most important factor that contributes in no small measure to the incidence of road crashes and disorderliness in the vehicle, environment and man interactions on the roads.
He added that, realising that the competence of most drivers in the country with Lagos having over 20mpercent of vehicles in Nigeria was questionable, due to the way and manner they acquire driving skills and obtain drivers license, decided to set up the institute through the ministry of transportation.
The institute has the following facilities that will ensure conducive learning, behaviour modification and examination for drivers: Ultra modern eye centre to examine driversâ€™ vision, a simulator room for driver analysis and training, a 75 seater auditorium complete with audio visuals among others.