Lagos State Government might soon begin the issuance of driver’s licence, the Commissioner for Transportation Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, has said.
Briefing reporters at the ministry’s boardroom, the commissioner said the new licence was the outcome of years of engagement between the state government and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
He said: “As part of what we have been doing since we assumed office, we can disclose that soon, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will launch the new driver’s licence, signaling that the state is on for a new deal of transportation reforms.”
Oladeinde, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kamaldeen Olowosago, and other top management officers, said a reviewed Lagos State Transportation Policy was ready and might be unveiled by the governor next month.
The commissioner, who did not disclose whether the unveiling would be part of the activities slated for the commemoration of the third year anniversary of the administration, said the policy, which was submitted to its predecessor shortly before the government came on board, had to undergo review, as it was found not robust enough to capture the state’s Strategic Transportation Master plan (STEM).
He said the state, with over two million vehicles, accounted for above national average of vehicles per kilometre, a development which made managing transportation in the state a bit complex and required deliberate planning.
Oladeinde said the Sanwo-Olu administration was determined to reform the transportation sector and ensure that small passenger vehicles, (popularly called danfos), were taken off the road and replaced by more comfortable and affordable mass transit buses that could take in more passengers.
Speaking about the menace of okada and tricycles, which seemed to have continued to defy government’s enforcement, the commissioner said the government had been holding back on full enforcement because of its determination to provide alternative means of commuting for the residents.
“If the government decides to embark on full enforcement of the law, the state will be thrown into crisis because a lot of people still rely on these modes of transportation as a means of movement, but by the time we are able to provide better alternatives, it will be easy to clamp down on these operators,” he said.
Oladeinde, however, gave a clue that when the time comes; the government may go for total ban of Okada and tricycle operation, rather than the partial ban that currently obtains.
He said the Lagos Ride Taxis, First and Last Mile (FLM) buses, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses, ongoing massive reforms of the waterways, as well as construction of the Blue and Red Rail lines, scheduled to be delivered before the end of the year, were geared toward providing comfortable transportation alternatives for Lagosians.
The commissioner, who admitted the proliferation of bad eggs in the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and the Abandoned Vehicles Agency (LSAVA), said the government would not relent in welding the big stick against any officer caught extorting the people, adding that while punitive actions would continue to be taken against erring officers, efforts would continue in deploying technology for full enforcement of traffic regulations.
On junction improvements, Oladeinde said the ministry had completed junction work improvements on 10 major junctions and completed traffic signalisation in 20 other junctions that had never had signal lights.
He said the ministry was determined to deliver the 60 junctions identified by his men when the administration took off in 2019, adding that “when this is done, Lagosians will experience reduction in gridlock.”
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