28th March, 2011
The Lagos State Government has charged the Special Traffic Mayors (STM), to assist officers of the state Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), in curbing the menace of traffic gridlock in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, gave this charge at a one-day stakeholdersâ€™ forum on Special Traffic Mayors in Lagos.
He said the business of traffic management was too arduous that LASTMA officials alone cannot tackle it, adding that the intervention of the STMs would complement the efforts of the authority.
Opeifa disclosed that the state had been able to get the services of over 2,000 STMs to man strategic areas across the state to help LASTMA curb traffic gridlock, saying that they could also help to monitor the activities of traffic officials.
He said the problems faced in the management of traffic in the state were public attitude and that of commercial bus operators who violate traffic rules at will and with impunity.
The special adviser also charged the STMs to report any LASTMA official caught taking bribe from motorists, promising that the state government would deal ruthlessly with such offenders.
â€œReport such cases to us and we will prosecute such LASTMA official in the court. We have even prosecuted one who collected N10,000 bribe from a motorist. Even if it is N1,000 the LASTMA officer collected, let us know and we will prosecute such officer, he said, adding, â€œif you know any LASTMA officer who took bribe, let us know.â€
According to him, the purpose of the forum was to sensitise the mayors on the need to put more effort in assisting government in controlling traffic across the state, even while they are returning from work.
One of the mayors, Mr. Olabisi Olabode, said he had made up his mind to work assiduously with the government to curb the menace of traffic in the metropolis, adding that as an educationist, he would help to educate the public on the need to obey traffic rules and regulations.
According to Mr. Ralph Ozoude, Country Manager, Universal Postal Service (UPS), â€œI will render community service and ensure smooth flow of traffic in order to reduce the cost of doing business in the state.
â€œOur challenge is that the level of awareness is low, government should create such awareness. The concept of the Special Traffic Mayor is good and it is a good way of adding to workers on the field.â€