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Lagos Govt. moves to address gridlock

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The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it had fashioned out workable solutions to ensure free flow of traffic across the state, especially as the Yuletide season approaches.

Among other strategies, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) has resolved to extend its operations from 5a.m. to 12 midnight on a daily basis.

The state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, said after a closed-door strategic session chaired by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, that the government had been worried by the perennial traffic situation motorists had been facing in recent times.

He said the governor had called for the session to fine-tune strategies for all agencies and stakeholders involved to implement, so as to ameliorate the traffic situation and also ensure security of lives and property.

Lawanson said: “What we have done is that we have got feedback from men and women who have been on the frontline, specifically our LASTMA officials, and then the Commissioner of Police was with us as well to give us the perspective of security.

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“So, most of the issues have been thrown up and we have together as a group strategised on it and we have come up with what we think are solutions to make for better flow of traffic, especially as we enter the ember months and the holiday season.

“Without a doubt, Lagosians we know have been going through some hardship which has been occasioned by the gridlock we have in the Apapa area, for which on that one, the state executive council has a solution in sight.

“All we are going through now is approval process that is required to activate the solution.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA), Mr Chris Olakpe, said that work had intensified on the trailer park to ease off traffic at Apapa axis.

He said it was resolved that palliatives on potholes should be handled in two ways, day and night time, but more in the night.

Olakpe, who promised more presence of officials of the LASTMA, on the roads , especially these ember months, sued for cooperation from members of the public.

He also warned those vandalising wire barriers on the roads to desist from doing so or face the full wrath of the law.

Explaining some of the strategies that would be adopted, he said the 1,000 officials recently recruited by the agency would be trained and deployed to the road before the end of the year.

He said the agency had also resolved to extend its operations from 5a.m. to 12 midnight on a daily basis.

Olakpe said that while the state government continues its palliative on potholes, LASTMA officials would be on ground to ensure free flow of traffic across those areas.

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On the Apapa gridlock, the LASTMA boss said that the trailer park in Orile would be delivered very soon, expressing optimism that it would go a long way to address the issue of trailers parking on the roads and bridges and causing congestion on such routes.

Olakpe also warned against harassment and assault of LASTMA officials by recalcitrant motorists, saying that such act attracts a jail term of two and half years without option of fine.

LASTMA General Manager, Mr Wale Musa, on his part, warned motorcycle operators, popularly called ‘Okada’, to desist from plying unrestricted routes or be penalised.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was also attended by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr Imohinmi Edgal, and the Chairman of the State Task Force on Environmental Offences, SP Yinka Egbeyemi, among others.

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