New LASTMA boss promises reform in three months


Christian Olakpe

THE new appointed Chairman of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Christian Olakpe, has assured Lagosians of a new LASTMA in the next three-months.

Olakpe said though he would not be loved by his actions, but the reform would invigorate the agency for optimal performance and improved traffic flow.

The retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), while addressing members of the Lagos State House of Assembly at Monday plenary, said he knows the state inside out and not unaware of policies that would make it work.

He said that under his watch, there would be no waivers in the enforcement of traffic laws, adding that he had even warned his friends and relatives not to call him over any erring motorist.

He said further: “I am an advocate of reward for good work and punishment for evil work. I can dismiss any officer on the spot and we are going to revive LASTMA within a short period of time. We will give the authority the impetus it needs.
“Once you are dismissed, your name would be published in the press and in our gazette. There would be reduction of ranks of offending officers. I will warn my men seriously and I will visit the Provost Marshall of the Nigerian Army for his support and any military man that beats a LASTMA official would be dealt with.
“I have friends in the Nigerian Army and the Police as a former police spokesman. We also plan to go to Ajah to do a participatory observation of what is going on there,” he said.

The chairman, however, appealed to the state government to provide designated bus stops and vowed that any motorist who plies one way or Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) dedicated lane would have his or her vehicle impounded and the owner would have to pay a fine .

Olakpe also appealed to the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, and other lawmakers not to call him to help any erring motorist. He said that he was ready to be dealt with by anybody in the state, adding that it is now a do-or-die affair. “I will work until we get a new improved LASTMA. Our men would be visible and accessible.

Whoever goes against the law would be pursued with power bike by LASTMA officials. There would be mobile courts. I am still fit and strong to receive phone calls anytime of the day.
“On enforcement, we will touch many places and we want the local government chairmen in the state to help us do some roads in their areas. We also want the Speaker of the House to help us increase our funding so that we can give raincoats, rainboots and torchlights to our men,” he states.

Olakpe also cleared the air on the allegation that some LASTMA officials work from morning till late in the night as he said that they work on shift basis, and that commercial bus drivers would be dealt with to submission.

Also speaking, the General Manager of LASTMA, Bashiru Ibraimo, said that they were in the Assembly to show their support for the Lagos State Government on the need to have a new LASTMA.

He also promised that it would no longer be business as usual with transportation in the state, adding that, “anyone who flouts the traffic law will have him or herself to blame.”

In his reaction, Obasa observed that the state has the capacity to ensure free flow of traffic as he instructed Olakpe to ensure that he achieve his plans as promised within three months.
“Once the traffic is free, nobody would ply one-way. I am assuring you of our support at all times and we will do everything necessary to ensure that LASTMA functions and progresses. We are concerned and passionate about traffic in Lagos State as the representatives of over 20 million people,” he said.

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