Ambode orders VIOs to vacate Lagos roads
Over $15b invested in Lekki free trade zone, says state govt
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) to be withdrawn from Lagos roads.The Guardian learnt that the governor’s directive was sequel to complaints from the public about the unruly and unprofessional conduct of some of the officers.
According to a source, Ambode was unhappy with the complaints, which is affecting the image of his administration negatively, so he ordered them out of the road for retraining to reposition the agency.
The source said the decision to withdraw the officers may be connected to a recent incident where some officers of the agency allegedly burnt a vehicle after the owner had paid the fine demanded.
Another source said the Ministry of Transportation was working to organise training for the officers so that they return to the road as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, yesterday said over $15 billion had been invested in the Lekki Free Trade Zone with Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical investing about $11 billion.
Speaking at the 2017 ministerial press briefing of his ministry, Ogunleye said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is committed to the project because of its importance to the country’s quest to diversify the economy.
He added that the free trade zone is a testament to the resolve of the government to industrialise the state, create jobs and ensure economic growth through local and foreign investments.
The commissioner said though 116 investors have shown interest in the project, only 16 have commenced full operations. He added that while some factories are under construction, 100 investors have also signified their intention to register and situate their business within the zone.
“During the period under review, the government further released N698,478.895 to the joint ventures as part of the state’s equity contribution. This is part of effort to ensure speedy development of the free zone and honour our obligation to counterpart funding of the project,” he stated.