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April 23, 2024

Embrace rules for smooth traffic, LASG tells event centre operators

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3rd from left: Mr Olalekan Bakare-Oki, General Manager LASTMA, Mr Sola Giwa, SA to governor on transportation, Mr Lanre Mojola, Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission and other dignitaries at the stakeholders parley on Wednesday in Lagos.
3rd from left: Mr Olalekan Bakare-Oki, General Manager LASTMA, Mr Sola Giwa, SA to governor on transportation, Mr Lanre Mojola, Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission and other dignitaries at the stakeholders parley on Wednesday in Lagos.

By Chiazo Ogbolu

Mr Sola Giwa, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Transportation, has urged event centre operators to embrace the rules of engagement that will ensure smooth traffic flow around their centres.

Giwa made the appeal at a special stakeholders parley on transportation safety at event centres, clubs and places of gathering in Lagos on Wednesday.

The stakeholders’ parley was organised by the Office of the Special Adviser on Transportation in collaboration with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Lagos State Safety Commission.

The special adviser noted that every minute wasted affected everyone, and so the need to ensure free flow of traffic at all times, by everyone adhering to traffic rules and regulations.

“A megacity like Lagos state can only be governed by rule of law and that is what the government of Lagos State is all about.

“Yes, the event centres are in business and while they are at it, it’s important that they think about others. Their business should not inconvenience others.

“These event centres, hotels, clubs are seen in megacities and as a government, we are giving an enabling environment for them to prosper and as much as they are making business, other people should not suffer,” he said.

Giwa noted that to ensure free flow of traffic was the essence of the partnership with the safety commission.

On issue of giving out sanctions for non-compliance, he said that it was not about sanctions, but being able to communicate with the operators, coax them and enlighten their mind to see the need for them to buy into this.

“Enforcement is the last resort and I don’t think we will get there, these are people we have noticed that from their relationship with the safety commission, they are willing to work with the state.

“I’m sure we are not going to get to sanctions but, however, if it comes to that, we will know when we get there. But, this is about having an egalitarian society where everyone understands the need for laws and abides by them,” he said.

Giwa noted that the society thrived when there was law and order, urging Lagos residents to obey all traffic rules in the state, as the government was doing so much to provide everyone with the enabling environment to make Lagos State a smart city.

Mr Lanre Mojola, Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, noted that the gathering was basically to engage operators of event centres in Lagos State, lay out rules of engagement, what was expected from them, the do’s and don’ts.

Mojola said that Lagos, being the centre of excellence and the most populated state in the country, had the highest number of events, as it was on record that over the past three years, 40,000 events take place annually in Lagos.

“In terms of traffic management, these are the specifics, there is need to train them, also the traffic and safety marshal within their premises.

“On safety protocols, we expect, every event with over 250 people to be registered and an event safety permit granted before they can host the event. Evidence of training in traffic and safety management of centres’ personnel will be sought for.

“We noticed that when these events occur, because the event centres lack space for the several hundreds of vehicles going in and out, we see the vehicles constituting clogs that flow to the road causing traffic.

“We cannot continue to watch this happen, these event centres should not create problems to normal road users,” he said.

He urged association heads to cascade the outcome of the meeting to members and solicit their collaboration as the ultimate goal was for the city to run smoothly and safe for all citizens.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Olalekan Bakare-Oki, noted that education and awareness campaign should be intensified to ensure the public do not flout parking regulations and safety standards.

Bakare-Oki said it was imperative that they foster collaboration among local authorities like Nigerian police, so as to create a comparative approach to traffic management.

“We need to use this platform to share experience, cultivate the spirit of cooperation, togetherness that can transform to good things.

“Also, let me emphasise that LASTMA is saddled with the responsibility of free flow of traffic, security of people at all times and so needs the cooperation of the motoring public,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the operators present urged the state government to look into the issues of bad roads, poor orientation of LASTMA officials, menace of touts, etc, as they also cause traffic on the roads. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Christiana Fadare

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