Lagos Traffic Radio: Soaring higher at 10
Since its establishment in 2012, during the administration of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the Lagos Traffic Radio (LTR) has become a reference point in traffic information dissemination in Africa.
It was established to provide traffic information on all modes of transportation and travel advisory to commuters and motorists, within and beyond Lagos.
In 2015, the Station, which started with a Director, Israel Ayodele Ogunlade, had a veteran broadcaster, Olayinka Adagun, as pioneer General Manager. Adagun set the pace for an enduring institutional framework that has made LTR the darling of road users in Lagos and beyond.
The change in leadership of the station, precisely in 2018, paved the way for the emergence of an experienced and resourceful media professional, Tayo Akanle, as the new helmsman.
Since he assumed office, Akanle has been at the forefront of strategically positioning the station for greater impact through creative concepts.
Unsurprisingly, residents readily testify to the indispensability of the Station’s timely information in planning their daily activities.
In a viral video, one of the popular listeners of Lagos Traffic Radio and Managing Director, Conrad Clark Plc, Joachim Adenusi, aka Oga Risky, recounted an encounter he had in 2021 during a heavy downpour that made several roads impassable.
He said: “It was Traffic Radio that saved the day for us as we were guided to safer routes to take. For me, it was such an amazing experience”.
Several other testimonials abound like that of Oga Risky. However, beyond its potency in managing risk, the Station also informs the populace about the government’s activities across all sectors.
In order to sustain its leadership status, the Station’s leadership lays immense emphasis on staff training and retraining. Hence, staff has been exposed to several capacity-building training, both within and outside the country.
The result is a visible improvement in the quality of broadcasters as well as programmes on parade at the Lagos Traffic Radio
Considering the renewed attention being accorded intermodal transportation by the Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, the Station has expanded the scope of the operations of its station to include Live Reports from the Waterways.
This is to buy into the administration’s vision of encouraging more Lagos residents to embrace water transportation.
Similarly, the Station also collaborates with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, to give train schedules in preparation for the commencement of the Blue and Red Lines of the State Government
In addition, the Station now offers information on flight schedules for local travelers as well as shipping positions on the number of ships berthing at the Ports.
Another major initiative of Traffic Radio is the inauguration of the Pilot scheme of Live Updates Motorbike in September 2020. The idea behind this is to have the presence of Lagos Traffic Radio at incident scenes to provide on-the-spot-live updates.
At the inauguration, Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, described the initiative as symbolic and a manifestation of the creative thinking capacity of the management.
The Lagos Traffic Radio has also moved from the initial provision of 15 minutes intervals for traffic updates to 10 minutes. This is based on the conviction that 15 minutes can no longer be.
The Station is also leveraging technology to increase its listenership base. Its online platforms have been deliberately reinvigorated and re-engineered, making them more active by introducing tried and tested social media strategies coupled with homegrown initiatives.
The resultant effect was a phenomenal increase in online audience, shooting it up from about 4,000 Likes on Facebook in 2019 to about 70,000 in 2022 while in 2022 on Twitter about 50,000 Followers were recorded against 15,000 in 2019.
Naturally, these platforms have enhanced the level of interaction and engagement with their audience.
To sustain its social media momentum, Mobile Apps have been deployed, while an official website has also been created for the station to ensure regular interactions with the public.
Additionally, the technology of live streaming has also been embraced in all the Station’s programmes, thus giving its online audience a new experience as they can now view their favourites programmes and presenters through live video from the studio.
All of these translate to multiple channels to access traffic information and travel advisory.
Lagos Traffic Radio has consciously and consistently reflected its mandate of providing traffic information on all modes of transportation, while echoing the developmental strides and achievements of the state government as most MDAs now leverage on its popularity.
In order to further contribute to the attainment of the developmental agenda of Mr. Governor, the Station introduced a weekly special report on the Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s its T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
The programme has been highlighting what has been done, what is yet to be done as well as the perception of Lagosians as it relates to the development agenda.
These and other quality contents, being aired on the station, has led to an increase from about 800,000 daily listeners to about 2million in 2022.
Indeed, the transformation of Lagos Traffic Radio is a holistic one that cuts across its on-air content, capacity enhancement of its on-air and off-air personalities, acquisition of modern broadcasting equipment and enhancement of the Station’s complex, which now constitutes the new face of Lagos Traffic Radio.
No doubt, LTR has come of age, not only in the number of years, but also in terms of innovations and accomplishments. The road can only get smoother, and the stories better told in future as the radio station remains committed to its core values of timeliness, reliability, accuracy, dynamism, innovativeness and objectivity.
In chronicling the Station’s success story, thus far, it is, however, vital to stress the impact of its robust partnership with Agencies such as the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), TRACE as well as several volunteers who provides regular traffic updates for the Station.
Indeed, the partnership with these organisations and individuals is partly responsible for the Station’s success story.
Has Lagos State attained where it envisioned? No! Has the radio station made some remarkable progress? Yes! Are there more miles to cover? Yes!
No doubt, with the good and humble beginning of the Station, coupled with the unrelenting support of the Sanwo-Olu administration, the Lagos Traffic Radio will continue to break new grounds in traffic information management in the State.
I will end this piece by sharing a personal experience of how the Radio Station had helped me plan my journey. Being a resident of one of the very busy routes in Lagos State- the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, exactly the day following the inauguration of the Live-updates Motorcycles.
I tuned in to the Station to enable me plan my journey, only to be duly informed about the huge traffic along that corridor. That morning, I decided to continue with my work at home pending when the road would be freer.
But then, I kept my ears glued to the station’s news to be abreast of development on the road. Characteristically, Traffic Radio did not disappoint. Within a few minutes came information from the Station that the coast was now clear. I know that it is a similar story for most road users across the State.
For me, Traffic Radio has become an integral part of my daily living. My car’s radio is permanently tuned to the Station.
Here is wishing Lagos Traffic Radio a Happy 10th anniversary and greater heights in the years ahead!
Omojoye, a public affairs commentator, wrote in from Palmgroove, Lagos.