Sanwo-Olu to LASTMA: Spare none of my cabinet members who violates traffic rules

•As he increases officers' allowances, warns them against corruption, others

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday warned that violators of traffic law irrespective of their standing in the society or connection with those in government would not go scot free, saying that he was going to tell his cabinet members that they were not above the law and that should any of them be caught or apprehended violating the state traffic rules, he or she would pay the appropriate fines.

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, should any of their family members or friends commit traffic offence, none would have the opportunity to plea for release of such except they would be ready to pay appropriate fines on their behalf.

The governor said this while speaking at an interactive section with officers and staff of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) during his visit to the agency’s office at Oshodi, Governor Sanwo-Olu, even as he also warned them to desist from bribes taking from motorists, while they must be courteous and decent in carrying out enforcement as Lagosians wanted a brand new, corrupt- free LASTMA that is equally respectful in discharging their duties.

“Nobody is going to be above the law. I will tell my cabinet members that if you are caught or apprehended violating the traffic rules, you will pay fine.

“If you are apprehended and you say you are a brother or relation to HoS or whoever, tell the person to come and pay the fine for you,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.

“Lagosians expect a corrupt free LASTMA that will not be collecting bribes.

“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 added.

The governor, while responding to list of request made by officers and men of the agency, announced one hundred per cent increase in the allowances to encourage and motivate the workers in the performance of their duties as well as in the fulfilment of his vision to make traffic management and transportation number one priority in his administration.

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.

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, LASTMA officials will start to earn new allowances by the end of July this year, saying the gesture was to encourage them to improve on their performances as they go out day and night to rid the state of traffic gridlocks.

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“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 to perform optimally. To whom much is given, much is expected,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also announced free treatment for every LASTMA official in the state, even as he also promised a more conducive working environment for the staff such as adequate security now that have to work late into the night, repair of their damaged vehicles and motorbikes, provision of raincoats, and other tools.

On operation of commercial motorcycles (okada) and tricycles on the highways, as well as the indiscriminate parking of imported vehicles by the roadside by some motor dealers, the governor said he would hold a meeting with the State Commissioner of Police and other security operatives to look at the existing laws and find a better way for their enforcement for the benefit of every Lagosian.

“There are rules that guide the 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.

”We are not going to condone people obstructing our roads. I am now taking it as a 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,” Sanwo-Olu warned.