Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has finally banned the operations of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) permanently from the roads in Lagos.
The VIOs had been ordered off the roads since the last three weeks on what the state acting commissioner for transportation, Anofiu Elegushi said was a temporary measure to enable them undergo training and update their skills to better discharge the task of vehicle inspection in the state.
Speaking at the commissioning of three-pronged projects including newly constructed pedestrian bridge, slip roads and laybys at the popular Ojodu Berger on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Governor Ambode said the withdrawal of the VIOs from the roads is permanent.
He also directed operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to restrict their activities to major highways in the state, all of which the governor said would go a long way in ensuring the flow of traffic. There have been reports and complaints of high handedness against the VIO in the state.
“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 (FRSC) 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. We will employ technology to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certifications,” Ambode said.
The governor explained that the transport infrastructure handed over at the Ojodu Berger were conceived and executed to basically solve the intractable traffic congestion around that axis and improve the security situation of the environs, which hitherto, saw pedestrians knocked down by fast moving vehicles and residents robbed by hoodlums.
He also announced that with the opening of the laybys, inter-state buses bringing passengers to Lagos, would stop for the passengers to disembark at Berger, from where they board intra-state buses into Lagos.
Speaking on the decision to embark on the project, the governor said “At the inception of this administration in May 2015, the traffic situation at the Ojodu Berger axis was one of the challenges we identified as requiring urgent attention. This decision was informed by the strategic importance of this axis being a major gateway into our State.
“What we set out to achieve with this project was to ensure smooth flow of traffic along the express, safeguard the lives of our people who had to run across the express and project the image of a truly global city to our visitors. Today, we are delighted that we have not only succeeded in transforming the landscape of this axis but with the slip road, laybys and pedestrian bridge, we have given a new and pleasant experience to all entering and exiting our state.
“We will not stop with the Ojodu Berger axis. This is an ongoing process and we are working to create solutions to traffic congestion in every part of the State. If your neighbourhood or communityis experiencing traffic challenges, be rest assured that we will soon be there.”
Speaking further, the governor said “as we celebrate the Golden Jubilee anniversary of our State, I am confident that the future prospects are very promising and that the journey of the next fifty years is commencing on a very sound and solid footing. Our state has lived up to its reputation as a land of possibilities, a centre of excellence and we are on our way to becoming a truly global city-state,” he said.