..As Lagos Traffic Radio, LASTMA hold maiden engagement forum

…Awards presented to outstanding programmes dept staff

By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has said that the traffic congestion across the metropolis is surmountable as strategic interventions are being deployed to tackle the menace.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, stated this at the maiden Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1FM and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, engagement forum, with the theme: ‘Repositioning of Traffic Information Agencies for Better Performance’, held at LTV ground, Agindigbi, Ikeja, Lagos.

Omotoso, who described the congestion in Lagos as surmountable, however, urged motorists to be patient with the state government over series of ongoing projects across the state, saying it aimed at easing off menace of traffic congestion.

He stressed that the project were been executed to beat the 2022 June and July rainfalls, “because this is the right opportunity of the dry season to deliver the job. We are only appealing for understanding on the part of the public on the need to exercise patience.”  

Omotoso stated: “Let me say this loud and clear: I will not join the rank of those who describe the Lagos traffic as a monster, bandying all manner of suspicious findings. Lagos is not in the rank of London, which has become “the most congested” as the world recovers from COVID-19. London drivers lost last year an average of 148hours to congestion at £1,211 per driver, according to INRIX.

“The “2021 Global Traffic Scorecard” states that London tops the list, followed by Paris, Brussels, Moscow, New York, Chicago and Rome. The others in the top ten are Bogota, Colombia, Palermo (Italy) and Istanbul (Turkey).

“That Lagos is not here, not even in the first 20, means that Sanwo-Olu administration is not joking with traffic management.”

Commenting on the engagement, Omotoso “This for me, is a potent avenue for capacity building for the two prime agencies. This is, indeed, very significant because the engagement provides a potent platform for the two organisations to synergize, strategise and build on your hitherto work relationship, which has delivered laudable impact in the management of traffic challenges.

“I must state here that the establishment of both agencies is a strategic intervention for traffic decongestion. The birth of LASTMA in the year 2000 has helped in managing the chaotic traffic that characterised Lagos in the 1970s to 2000.”

He further stressed that since LASTMA’s advent on the transportation scene, traffic management had gone a notch higher, reducing build-ups, which used to stretch several miles in the metropolis. He added that the Agency had also helped in reforming drivers through strict application of the road traffic law and promptly dealing with crashes in the ever-busy roads in Africa’s largest economy.

Commissioner of Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the role of both agencies as life-saving, not only to residents of the State, but also motorists plying the various roads and high ways across the metropolis.

Represented by the Director of Transportation in the Ministry, Azeeez Toriola, the Commissioner said the present administration will not rest on its oars until road users enjoy free flow of traffic movement and this is evident in the various investments in transport infrastructure in the State.

On his part, the Head of Service (HoS), in the Lagos State Government, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Kamar Olowoshago, stated that the parley was indeed a laudable initiative, where issues relating to effective traffic management in the State could be exhaustively examined and relevant issues duly identified, distilled and refocused.

He added that: “The theme of the engagement, ‘Repositioning of Traffic Information Agencies for Better Performances’ cannot, therefore, be more appropriate. It would be stating the obvious to observe that one of the focal points of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present Administration is Traffic Management and Transportation which is, indeed, the first pillar of the Agenda.

 “Road Transportation, as we all know, is the most commonly used form of transportation in the world. And the importance of a forum such as this is further underscored by the status of Lagos as a mega City and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Therefore, engagement fora such as this one, I believe, would offer various stakeholders in transportation sector the opportunity to come up with different workable ideas that would be beneficial to the Traffic Information Agencies in the State.”

 Furthermore, he added that transportation challenges in Lagos is a collective responsibility, therefore, he admonished that everything should not be left to government alone, as each and everyone had a vital role to play in ensuring a safe and secure road transportation system across the state.

General Manager of Lagos Traffic Radio, Tayo Akanle, said the event was unique because it was the first time such an official engagement would be holding between the two Agencies, despite the cordial relationship which started 10 years ago. He said, arguably, both agencies formed one of the strongest partnerships in the Lagos State Public Service as at today.

He assured that the dire need to interrogate the process of bringing forth traffic information, to come up with practicable solutions to challenges therein and ultimately improve the service delivery while adding value to motorists /commuters in Lagos, which was basically the reason for the engagement, would be robustly explored.

The highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to outstanding programmes department staff of both Agencies.

Outstanding Programmes Officer of the Year 2021 award was presented to Mr. Adeshina Adeosun; Mr. Micah Aruocha (aka MC Ice); Mr. Akan Usen; Mrs. Adebowale Yusuff (aka Iya Sharwama) and Mrs. Folashade Temitope Aderohunmu.

In the category of Outstanding Traffic Reporter of the Year, the awards, Mr. Olayiwola Olanrewaju; Mr. Awotola Victor Olatunde; Mr. Awotungase Sulaiman Adelaja-Asst. Comptroller, LASTMA; Mr. Awotola Victor Olatunde and Mr. Ogunwale Adetoye Gbolahan, emerged winners.


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