Lagos State residents are
calling on Ambode to extend the same treatment given to the VIOs toLASTMA men since the restructuringplan by the government is meant for the ministry of transportation which does not exclude LASTMA. The treatment should also be applied on LASTMA in order to help them discharge their responsibilities in a way that would not stifle the citizens and portray the state in a bad light.
Since its creation and other outfits
like it, Lagos motorists have been
complaining bitterly about unwarranted incessant harassment by the officials of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA). But the Lagos State
government seems not to have an
answer to their protests.
With the level of intimidation and embarrassment that we gathered are daily recorded by residents in the hands of LASTMA officials, drivers are now afraid to drive their cars because different officials claiming to work for government do fabricate excuses to extort money from them.
Our investigations have shown that
the excesses of the few bad
elements within the outfit, who
perpetrate this act, are encouraged
by the concerted efforts of the state
governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
and his people to increase the
internally generated revenue base of
While this is commendable, it is not a palatable experience for the ordinary citizens of Lagos State who regularly complain of harassment, intimidation, and
oppression in the hands of the
LASTMA officials. Those who spoke
to this magazine over the weekend
said the LASTMA would cajole, insult, bully and threaten motorists in order to extort money from them.
We were told that, though some of
these government officials are nice
and reasonable, the few bad ones
among them do enjoy inflicting pain
and suffering on Lagosians.
It should be recalled that Governor Ambode recently ordered the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) out of
Lagos roads in a bid for them to have
a re-training course in the use of modern technology, according to a government source. It was the same complaints about the overzealousness and highhandedness of the VIO men which had reached a high level that we learned caused the governor to give them the marching order.
Speaking on the VIO order, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said “The truth is that the transport ministry is undergoing restructuring, including the VIOs. The
commissioner for transportation had made some recommendations, which he will present at the State Executive Council meeting and things can move forward from there. But we all believe that the VIOs’ activities should be technologically driven and more.These will be seen soon.”