Lagos State Government reacts to #Ojuelegba
Following the fatal accident at Ojuelegba on Wednesday, the Lagos State Government met with the leaders of various transport unions in the state on Sunday.
At the meeting, Mr Oluseyi Whenu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation restated the government’s determination to enforce Section 2 (i) and 2 (ii) of the Lagos Road Traffic Law 2012, which bans trailers from travelling within the metropolis of Lagos between the hours of 6.00am – 9.00pm. And promised a N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) fine or six month imprisonment for any offender.
The secretary acknowledged that trailer drivers have often violated the Road Traffic Law, but said the government will be quite strict with offenders henceforth. Offenders will not only pay the stipulated fine, but also have their vehicles impounded.
In response, Alhaji Musa Muhammed, the State Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), pledged the unions’ readiness to cooperate with the government and comply with road traffic laws to prevent accidents and maintain sanity in the transport sector.
While this is a welcomed development, Lagosians hope that this is not just another empty promise on the part of the government. Surely the government has been aware of the violation of these laws, as admitted by Mr Oluseyi Whenu, but will strictly effect it only now that lives have been lost.
Is a 50,000 fine and six months imprisonment, an adequate punishment for offenders?
However, the Federal Road Safety Commission is yet to speak up on the incident. There is probably no need for them to; Nigerians will just have to await the result of their last meeting regarding truck driver’s sensitisation and stricter implementation of road laws.
And while we wait, there is the need to emphasize that what Nigeria needs is a proactive government, not a reactive one. This video is proof.