The newly appointed chairman of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Chris Olapke, has given himself a target of three months to rid the state of gridlocks adding that his major focus is to ensure that he battles commercial drivers to submission.
Olakpe also said he will collaborate with other forces which have to do with maintaining traffic in the state to help tackle congestion that have become a menace to the state.
The retired assistant inspector-general of police was screened on the floor of the Lagos state House of Assembly when he made the promise.
He added that he had mapped out strategies for effective traffic management adding that as one born and brought up in Lagos, he understands the many problems especially that had to do with gridlocks in the state.
While calling on the state government to fix bad roads, many of which he said are in deplorable conditions, he also said LASTMA needed adequate funding and better welfare for its officials.
This, he said would push and encourage its officials to work effectively.
Currently, he said the agency has only 50 motorcycles and less than 2,100 for the about 20 million residents and road users in the state.
He said he would build a robust relationship between the agency and residents of the state and maintain this relationship.
He urged for suggestions on how to curb corruption in the agency adding that he would create a LASTMA community relations committee to embody stakeholders in the transport industry so as to reduce the apathy between the people and the agency, while agreeing that there is a lot of work to be done.
Part of his strategies is to create traffic mayors to augment the limited number of officials of the agency.
“We shall liaise with the executive for their (officials of the agency) welfare. We call on government to really fund and assist the agency so that we begin to have ‘the people’s LASTMA’.”
He further called on the state to build designated bus stops so that commercial drivers would not have any excuse when caught.
“There is going to be strict compliance with the law. Enforcement will bite and bite very hard.
“I will be an enemy to Lagosians because if I don’t become an enemy, I won’t work well,” he said adding that he had warned his friends and family not to call him if they err,” he charged.
The LASTMA boss concluded that he would devise means of punishing officials of the agency caught in acts that are detrimental to their duties.
Ask me one on one.