By Olasunkanmi Akoni
THE Lagos State Government has directed officials of the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Development Areas (LCDAs) not to enforce traffic laws on motorists.
This came just as Lagos State Government released the first set in the series of attitude training for officials of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority, (LASTMA) as part of efforts to bring about best practices in road management as well as ridding off corrupt practices among officials.
Addressing a joint media briefing after a meeting with Governor Babatunde Fashola at Alausa, Ikeja, Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation and Revenue, Mr. Ade Ipaye; Chairman of Association of Local Governments Chairmen of Nigeria, Mr. Abiodu Faleke and Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, explained that the decision to clarify the position was informed following series of complaints received by the state government that touts parading as councilâ€™s officials have been harassing and unlawfully extorting money from motorists.
They lamented the ugly situation which those touts took advantage of to exploitÂ citizens.
According to Ipaye, â€œunder the 1999 constitution, Local Government Councils are only responsible for the licensing of bicycles and other manually propelled means of transportation. They have no role at all in the management of traffic or the arrest, prosecution or punishment of traffic offenders.â€
He further explained that apart from the Nigerian police and the Federal Road Safety Corps, the only agency in the state that is responsible for the management of traffic is the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
â€œNo local government staff or their task force or agent is authorised to stop and arrest motor vehicle or motorcycles on any road in the state for radio licence or other revenue purposes or to arrest or impose fines on drivers for traffic offences. Such offences must be reported to the relevant agencies which can take necessary action as prescribed by law,â€ he said.â€
One hundred senior members of the authority who completed the training, tagged: Attitudinal change and mentoringâ€ were exposed to various skills on courteous service and traffic management at a two-day workshop that took place between Monday and Tuesday.
Speaking at the workshop, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Establishment and Training, Mr. Segun Ogunlewe, said the present administration organised the training in its determination to achieve excellence in service.