By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday put the uncertainty concerning the absence of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) on Lagos roads to rest once and for all, stating categorically that he has asked them to stay off the roads permanently.
Governor Ambode, who said this at the commissioning of Pedestrian Bridges, Laybys and Slip Road at Ojodu Berger, also urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to limit its operations to the fringes and highways and stay clear from the main streets of the State.
He said the decisions were in line with his administration’s resolve to ensure free flow of traffic across the State, noting that their activities were contributing to traffic congestion on Lagos roads.
The Governor said, “Distinguished 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 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.”
He said as an alternative, the State Government would employ technology to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certifications and de-emphasise impoundment of vehicles on the roads.
Speaking on the interventions in Ojodu Berger, Governor Ambode said his administration at inception, identified the axis as one of the major traffic flashpoints that required urgent attention, adding that the decision was informed by the strategic importance of this axis being a major gateway into the 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, lay bys and pedestrian bridge, we have given a new and pleasant experience to all entering and exiting our State.
“This project is the product of our innovative team of engineers, architects and town planners who have worked hard to create an innovative solution to tackle the challenges of this axis. I say a big thank you to the staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Works and the contractors – CCECC Nigeria Limited for a job well done,” he said.
To improve on the project, Governor Ambode said a food court would be built where people can relax before climbing the pedestrian bridge, as well as an interstate bus terminal within the Ojodu Berger axis for buses coming from outside Lagos to drop and load passengers, while intercity transportation system would move commuters within the city.
Besides, the Governor assured that his traffic interventions would not only stop at the Ojodu Berger axis, but would be an ongoing process to create solutions to traffic congestion in every part of the State.
“If your neighbourhood or community is experiencing traffic challenges, be rest assured that we will soon be there. We will always ensure that promises made are promises kept. We will continue to rely on the support of all segments of the population for regular tax payments, obeying the rule of law and protection of public infrastructure. That is the only way we can progress and achieve our goal of being one of the world’s top centres for business, entertainment and leisure,” he said.
While alluding to the fact that the State has lived up to its reputation as a land of possibilities, Governor Ambode also expressed confidence that the future prospects of the State was promising and that the journey of the next fifty years has commenced on a very sound and solid footing.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya said the project was conceived by the State Government as a response to the yearnings of the people of Ojodu Berger Community for an improved, efficient and grid lock free road network, as well as the need to preserve the sanctity of life of Lagosians who hitherto were endangered by the need to cross the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Akinsanya, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, gave the scope of the project to include 98m pedestrian bridges with illumination, 150m length lay-bys on both sides of the expressway, 500m length of retaining wall with varying height from 3.5m to 7m and two multi-by bus park/bus lay-bys on Ogunnusi road with public convenience.
Other scope of the project included 650m slip road connecting traffic outward the expressway to Omole/Olowora Junction, 700m Ogunnusi/Wakatiadura dual road from Kosoko road junction to the expressway, 250m PWC Road to the expressway, street lighting on all the roads and multi-bay bus parks, signalization of all junctions, pedestrian walkway and drainage infrastructure, among others.