LAGOS State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has taken his zero tolerance to traffic congestion and voluntary compliance to all traffic regulations to religious leaders in the state to help sensitiwe their followers.
Addressing religious leaders at an Inter-faith Safety Seminar organised for members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) from all the 20 Local Governments and 37 LCDAs by the Ministry of Home Affairs in conjunction with the Lagos State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Service Centre, (LACVIS), Sanwo-Olu said the collaboration becomes necessary to ensure more Lagosians voluntarily comply with the laws to avoid embarrassment.
The seminar took place at LACVIS head office at Ojodu-Berger.
The governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation, Dr Taiwo Salaam, said government is seeking the religious leaders’ collaboration because of the influence they have on their followers and adherents.
He said the state recorded marginal improvement in road accidents and deaths since the traffic law was introduced in 2012 from less than 300 in 2013.
He however lamented the situation had dipped such that about 5000 deaths were recorded over the past four years as a result of road accidents.
The governor said government is worried the rising spate of accidents and deaths were traceable to non-renewal of drivers or vehicle licence, absence of road worthiness certificate, insurance certificate and other documents that could certify that the road user is fit to be on the road and to use it.
He therefore urged Christian to “assist the government reach the public on how to use the road.
“What we need is attitudinal change and we are pleading with you to help us pacify them to continue to support the government.”
He said the government is willing to enforce and we are going to sustain the enforcement.
NIREC’s Co-Chairman and Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Apostle Alexander Bamgbola praised the government for making traffic and transportation a major focus of his administration.
He said the traffic congestion is already taking a toll as many people are already leaving the state for neighbouring southwestern states.
He assured the governor of “real support” of NIREC leadership. “Our cooperation is going to real because we are also affected by the effect of traffic congestion in this state.”
“We are not surprised that Sanwo-Olu is making the road priority, it is a response to our collective prayers,” he said
VIS Director Engr Hafeez Toriola said the government since 2017 has started the establishment of computerized testing centres in order to reduce incidences of manual testing, which has been the bane which impacts on traffic.
He urged the clergies to appeal to their members and followers to take their vehicles to any of the centres close to them, adding that four new ones would be commissioned in Ojota, Olowu, Yaba, to bring the figure to 14 that has been established across the state.
LACVIS Managing Director Prince Segun Obayendo said the computerised testing would help address mechanical and electrical issues relating to vehicles on the roads.
Obayendo, who took the religious leaders on facility tour of the operations of the centre, said what obtains at Ojodu is replicated in all the 14 stations and the intention is for the government to have one in each of the 20 local governments.
About 100 religious leaders all members of NIREC from all the local governments in the state attended the seminar.