**Cautions LASTMA Against Corruption, Harassment
By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday said the state government may soon commence to clampdown on car dealers parking their vehicles on the roadside, thereby obstructing the free flow of traffic.
“We are not going to condone people obstructing our roads. I am now taking it as warning to all those parking their vehicles on the road such as importers of tokunbo vehicles to comply by removing them from the road because we will come one day and take all the vehicles off the road. People should provide space for their businesses,” Mr Sanwo-Olu warned during an interactive session with officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
The Governor also said attention will be operations of commercial motorcycles (okada) on highways and tricycles.
Mr Sanwo-Olu promised to meet with the Commissioner of Police and other security operatives to look at the existing laws and better way for their enforcement for the benefit of every Lagosian.
“There are rules that guide operation of commercial motorcycles. The Lagos State law has stated okada should not operate on some roads. We will have a meeting with security operatives on what we should do,” he said.
The Governor also warned members of his cabinet, their family members and friends against not to contravene traffic rules.
“’I will tell my cabinet members that if you are caught or apprehended violating my traffic rules, you will pay,” he said.’
During the meeting with traffic officials, the Governor asked them to desist from any act of corruption or corrupt tendencies, but imbibe civility as a major guiding principle in their operations.
The Governor reminded LASTMA officials that Lagosians want a decent and corrupt free agency and as such should be respectful when arresting a traffic offender.
“Lagosians expect a corrupt free LASTMA that will not go about to collect bribes from motorists. Be respectful and courteous even when you are going to arrest an offender. Lagosians want LASTMA that is decent, they want neatness. We don’t want laziness and lateness to work. Be my advocates,” he said.
In order to motivate the traffic officials, Mr Sanwo-Olu announced 100 percent increase in the allowances of LASTMA personnel from the month of July 2019.
He explained that the gesture was to encourage the officers to improve on their performances as they go out day and night to rid the State of traffic gridlocks.
“As from the end of the month of July, we shall increase your allowances by 100 per cent. That means if you are collecting N5,000 as your allowance, it would be increased to N10, 000. Those collecting N10,000 before would now be getting N20,000. This would enable you perform optimally. To whom much is given, much is expected”, Governor Sanwo-Olu said.
Some LASTMA officials who spoke during the session appealed to the Governor to assist the agency in some areas such as equipment, medical treatment and insurance for them to deliver more efficiently.
They further sought the Governor’s support for the provision of adequate security for those whose operations have been extended to 11pm, improvement in their welfare packages, rehabilitation of roads, trainings, and enforcement of existing regulations, to aid their operations.
In response, Governor Sanwo-Olu announced free treatment for every LASTMA official in the state. He also promised a more conducive working environment for the staff such as repair of damaged vehicles and motorbikes, provision of raincoats, and other tools.
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