Ambode bans local councils from traffic enforcement
Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has ban local councils in the state and its officials from controlling or engaging in traffic duties. The governor also ordered the cancellation of all official number plates currently in use as a result of gross abuse and directed re-issuance of new official number plates to all government-owned vehicles.
Addressing newsmen yesterday, the Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said in recent times, there have been complaints about the role of the local councils in traffic enforcement.
“Indeed, there are traffic units in all the 57 local councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs). However, this is not a responsibility for the third tier of government. We have reported instances of illegal arrest, extortion and general impunity on the part of the council operatives.
“It is then appropriate to disband all the units and outfits parading as Local Council Traffic Units. This has been communicated to all the agencies. For the avoidance of doubt, officials of the ministry will start monitoring and any infraction will be dealt with in full compliance with the law.
“Let me also reiterate that only the Nigerian Police, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Taskforce on Special Offences and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) can perform traffic duties,” he said.
Elegushi urged Lagosians to report any such illegal activities to the Ministry of Transportation charged with the responsibility to ensure zero tolerance for illegal traffic duties, adding that there had never been a time government considered ceding its responsibilities to any other tier of government.
On number plates, the commissioner said government has now deemed it necessary to carry out a review so as to ensure better identification of government vehicles and end the era of abuse of the official number plates and its negative consequences on security.
Elegushi explained that under the new arrangement, official number plate would no longer be transferable as it would be specific to vehicles, adding that both security numbers and the official numbers would now be paired and reflected in the vehicle particulars/licenses.
“For the avoidance of doubt, any private vehicle(s) which carry official number plate(s) will be forfeited to government irrespective of who owns such vehicle(s) and such person(s) will be prosecuted, accordingly.
“To give vent to this new arrangement, law enforcement agencies have been authorized effective from March 31, 2017 to commence a clamp down on vehicles that bears the old official number plates,” he stated.