Lagos relaxes LASTMA, VIO, KAI rules
By Wole Oyebade
By Wole Oyebade Lagos State government yesterday warned men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) to desist from public harassment of Lagosians and forced arrest of offending vehicles.
The directive, which relaxes enforcement of road traffic and environmental rules by the agencies, is to make life easier and happier for residents.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who addressed men of the LASTMA, KAI and Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), said making lives easier and Lagosians happier was his main campaign promise to the electorates that voted him in.
And in executing the promise, Ambode said, men of the state law enforcement agencies were important as the new faces of Lagos and of his administration.
Meanwhile, the governor has approved the allocation of 200 branded porsche KIA Rio cars out of the 400 cars the last administration commissioned for LASTMA and KAI. Ambode said the remaining 50 per cent would be given when the agencies impress him with their new tasks.
The governor, at the meeting held at Ikeja Lagos House, Alausa, noted the importance of the officers, explaining that Lagos metropolis would have been more chaotic and impossible without LASTMA, KAI and VIO officers on the road.
He said while LASTMA, KAI had in the last three months been ineffective for reasons traceable to election campaigns, it was time to go back to work and be most felt by Lagosians. According to him, you will henceforth be the new faces of the government.
Anything you do, is on my account as my representative in the public. So, I want a LASTMA and KAI that will execute my promise to Lagosians, which is to make life simpler and make Lagosians happier.
Ambode noted that the feedback from the public were complaints on worsened traffic gridlock, which the agencies must immediately rise to address.
Of particular mention were Oworonsoki end of the Third Mainland Bridge; Abule Egba, Dopemu, Oshodi and Mile 2 among others that are notorious for traffic gridlock. The governor, however, warned LASTMA on harassment and the habit of entering into offending cars to enforce arrest.
“I don’t want officers that will torture my citizens. They may be offenders but don’t torture them. Don’t jump into their cars to enforce arrest.
This is where you have to be creative and use technology in the implementation of the law. For now, no harassment. “I don’t want VIO to arrest vehicles for two long. A car you arrest for two days, which is a means of livelihood to the offender, is a loss to our GDP.
“KAI officers must also go back to the streets, because we still say no to street trading. But don’t harass them. You are law enforcement officers, not harassment officers. We all have to ensure a new Lagos. Once you do this, I will protect you and ensure your welfare,” Ambode said.