Ambode bans VIOs permanently


Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday, put the uncertainty surrounding the absence of Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs, on Lagos roads to rest, once and for all, stating categorically that he has asked them to stay off the roads permanently.

Governor Ambode, who said this at the commissioning of Pedestrian Bridges, Lay-bys and Slip Road at Ojodu Berger, also urged the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, to limit its operations to the fringes and highways and steer clear from the main streets of the state.

FRSC reacts The spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr Bisi Kazeem  reacting to the governor’s comment said: ‘’FRSC has already as a matter of policy asked its staff to concentrate mainly on highways especially in all the states that have their traffic management outfits such as Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA.

‘’Our third strategic goal of 2017 has to do with this – Encouraging states to have their traffic management outfits to combat menace of traffic congestion in metropolis while we double our efforts in ridding highways of traffic crashes. The Governor is therefore corroborating our policy stance .

‘’If you see our men in the metropolis, it is either they met a crash or  traffic build up that they were working on and not carrying out operations. You know they can not see a crash or traffic gridlock and shy away. The same motoring public will blame them for shying away from their responsibility if they do so.

‘’Though our establishment act authorized us to patrol all public highways, we on our own haven noticed and researched into crash prone areas decided to encourage state traffic enforcement agencies and therefore concentrate on highways.

Governor Ambode said the decisions to ban VIos and restrict FRSC officials were in line with his administration’s resolve to ensure free flow of traffic across the State, noting that their activities were contributing to traffic congestion on Lagos roads.

The Governor said: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to reiterate that Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) have been asked to stay off our roads permanently.

“We also advice the Federal Road Safety Corps to stay on the fringes and highways and not on the main streets of Lagos. It has become evident that these agencies contribute to the traffic challenges on our roads.”

He said as an alternative, the State Government would employ technology to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certifications and de-emphasise impoundment of vehicles on the roads.

Speaking on the interventions in Ojodu Berger, Governor Ambode said his administration at inception, identified the axis as one of the major traffic flash-points that required urgent attention, adding that the decision was informed by the strategic importance of this axis being a major gateway into the state.

To improve on the project, Governor Ambode said a food court would be built where people can relax before climbing the pedestrian bridge, as well as an interstate bus terminal within the Ojodu Berger axis for buses coming from outside Lagos to drop and load passengers, while intercity transportation system would move commuters within the city.

Besides, the governor assured that his traffic interventions would not only stop at the Ojodu Berger axis, but would be an ongoing process to eradicate traffic congestion in every part of the state.

There would be an improved, efficient and grid lock free road network, as well as the need to preserve the sanctity of life of Lagosians who hitherto were endangered by the need to cross the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Mr Akinsanya, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, gave the scope of the project to include 98metre pedestrian bridges with illumination, 150metre length lay-bys on both sides of the expressway, 500metre length of retaining wall with varying height from 3.5metres to 7metres and two multi-by bus park/bus lay-bys on Ogunnusi road with public convenience.