Several Injured As Trailer Collides With BRT In Lagos

 

Several persons were injured on Tuesday after a trailer collided with a BRT vehicle in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed this via Twitter.

According to the agency, the fatal accident occurred when the trailer going inwards Ikorodu, skidded off the main carriageway and collided with the BRT.

While some of the casualties were immediately rushed to the hospital, the incident resulted in a serious gridlock around the area.

 

Fire Razes BRT Bus On Third Mainland Bridge

 

One of the buses used for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in Lagos has been razed by fire on the third mainland bridge.

The bus which was heading towards Iyana-Oworo caught fire just after Adeniji Adele axis of the bridge.

The Lagos fire service and LASTMA officials later arrived the scene to put out the fire and also manage the traffic.

 

 

The wreckage of the bus was at the scene awaiting evacuation as at the time of filing this report.

No casualty was reported.

 

See photos below…

Lagos Inaugurates Five Mobile Courts For Traffic Offenders

lagos state mobile courts The Lagos State Government has inaugurated five Mobile Court buses for road traffic offenders, with a pledge to end impunity on the roads.

The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade‎ and the State’s Attorney General, Kazeem Adeniji, restated their commitments to ridding Lagos of recklessness and impunity on the roads at the inauguration of the Mobile Courts on Friday.

The inauguration was held at the premises of the High Court in Ikeja, the capital of the state.

Justice Atilade pointed out that flagrant disregard and violation of traffic rules with impunity was unacceptable. She, therefore, urged the people of the state to discourage and condemn the act.

The Chief Judge also disclosed that the judiciary remained committed and would stop at nothing to back the initiative of the State Government.

The Attorney General, on his part, said that the Mobile Courts would facilitate prompt and immediate trial of road traffic and environmental offenders.

Offenses to be tried by the Court include; driving against traffic, refusing to obey traffic signs like Zebra Crossings and Traffic Lights indications, crossing the highways where Pedestrian Bridges are provided, driving on the BRT by non-designated vehicle and parking at undesignated places, commercial buses on motion with their doors open thereby endangering lives of both their passengers and other road users, noise pollution and street trading amongst others.

He expressed hope that the reduction in the commission of these traffic offences, would determine how much Lagos had progressed as a civilised society.

The State Attorney General also said that the Courts would be presided over by Magistrates and that there would be prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice and defence lawyers from the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), who would be readily available to defendants who so desire.

Lagos Launches New Taxi System, Distributes Licences To Operators

Taxi licence
Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN)

The Lagos State Government has launched a new scheme which requires all taxi operators to register their details with government before operating in the state, in line with Regulation 40 of the Road Traffic Law 2012.

This is part of efforts to improve the safety and security of commuters as they go about their business in Lagos.

Speaking while launching the scheme on Thursday, the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that the new Lagos Taxi licence with present street value of N100,000.00 each is being distributed free of charge to taxi drivers.

The taxi licence has several embedded features such as the photograph of the owner, his name, his address including fingerprints which is with the state under the Residence Registration scheme and the Lagos State Public Transportation Management System.

On its database, the state has 12,617 drivers already captured and 10,882 vehicles as the total taxis registered under the new taxi licence scheme.

He gave the assurance that residents of the state would be safe if they enter a licenced taxi in Lagos, and as such they should not patronize unregistered taxis because they would be putting their safety at risk by doing so.

“We feel confident that from today parents and guardians will feel secure to allow their children enter taxis the way it used to happen when I was a teenager.

“We moved around Lagos in taxis and nothing bad happened to us. We must get our children back to use the public transport system.

“Not every parent can buy a car for their child. We must get our children back to using the bus system. That is the way that we would claim our civilization”, he added.

 

Governor Yero Flags Off Dualisation Of Kawo-Station Road

governor yeroGovernor of Kaduna state, Mukhtar Yero, has flagged off the dualization of 14 kilometer Kawo-Station-Command Junction road project, being a decongestant to the heavy traffic usually experienced by motorists in the state capital.

While speaking at the flag-off in Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area, Governor Yero said his administration was totally committed to the infrastructural development of the state and would also complete all ongoing projects inherited from his predecessors.

The road, which is a gateway into the state capital, is among the infrastructural challenges facing residents of the capital, which the state government is working hard to address.

The governor, at the flag-off ceremony said the dualization of the road is another promise made and kept by his administration to the people of the state, adding that the project is aimed at reliefing traffic and beautifying the city.

Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Bashir Aliyu, said the road would be completed in three phases, with one starting from Kawo to Lugard Hall Roundabout, while the second commences from Lugard Roundabout to Station Roundabout and the final phase would be from Station Roundabout to Command Junction.

Residents in the area commended the state government’s effort at reducing traffic in the city centre and making roads in other parts of the state passable for motorists.

The road dualisation project, which include parking lots and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes, is being handled by Mothercat Nigeria Ltd and would be completed in 15 months at the cost of over N3.6 Billion.

So far, the administration of Governor Yero,  has completed over 30 roads both within the state capital and rural communities across the state.

BRT-Soldiers Clash: Army Represented At Tribunal Sitting Day 2

BRTThe three-man tribunal of enquiry set up to look into the July 4 accident involving the Bus Rapid Transit, popularly called BRT and a soldier on a motorbike, continued its sitting in Lagos on Tuesday with men of the Army represented at its proceedings.

To kick-start its public hearing, the tribunal listened to the accounts of two witnesses.

The first witness, Mr Folorunso Zaccheus, was a driver of one of the BRT buses while the second, Mr Olubunmi Akinwande, was a fleet officer with the Lagbus office.

The driver told the public hearing that on July 4, 2014, he drove the BRT bus which broke down at the Palmgrove Bus Stop, along the popular Ikorodu Road in Lagos.

After reporting the break-down at their base in Ojota, Mr Zaccheus said that he went back to sit in the bus to await a rescue van when he suddenly heard and felt a loud impact behind the bus. He peeped through the window and saw a bike on the floor.

This account of the bus driver is, however, in sharp contrast with that of the Army who in an investigative report sent to the tribunal claimed that the bus knocked down from behind, the soldier and his bike.

Channels Television judiciary correspondent reported that the sequence of events is at the heart of the inquiry of the tribunal which would continue its sitting on Wednesday by taking the accounts of the Army and it’s officers.

The incident allegedly led to the destruction of some BRT buses as well as alleged vandalisation, arson, looting and harassment of innocent citizens.

BRT-Soldiers Clash: Tribunal Commences Sitting

BRTThe 3-man tribunal of inquiry into the July 4, 2014 incident between soldiers and some drivers of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), in Lagos has held its inaugural sitting on Monday, September 15.

It was alleged that a BRT hit and killed a soldier thereby leading to destruction of some BRT buses, as well as vandalisation, arson, looting and harassment of innocent citizens.

The tribunal chaired by retired Justice Ebenezer Adebajo was set up by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, to enquire into the causes and factors leading to the road traffic accident, as well as the subsequent events on Ikorodu Road on that day.

The tribunal is to make appropriate recommendations to prevent future occurrence of incidents of such nature.

The Chairman of the tribunal appealed to eyewitnesses and other members of the public who have information on the incident to come forward and share such information with the tribunal to enable it get to the root of the matter.

Justice Adebajo pledged that the tribunal would be diligent, thorough and fair in its work.

BRT To Commence e-ticketing In Lagos On Tuesday

The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), regulator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), has announced that the use of e-ticketing payment to board BRT buses in the state will commence on Tuesday as part of ongoing re-structuring of BRT’s operations and management aimed at enhancing effectiveness.

Managing Director, LAMATA, Dayo Mobereola, who disclosed this over the weekend said the measure was part of a holistic plan to return BRT operations to its efficient and effective state as planned when it was launched in 2008.

Dr Mobereola said the Lagos State Government is aware of challenges faced by commuters using the BRT, explaining that steps were currently being taken to ensure the restoration of efficient and effective service delivery on the system and increase its capacity.

According to him, the e-ticketing payment was a solution through a payment card named ‘Lagos Connect,’ and it would offer commuters several options, such as, “with the e-payment system, Lagos Connect, commuters in Lagos will pay as low as N20 per trip instead of N70.”

“They would not need to struggle for change or lose their money, and the system is safe and convenient” he added.

Lagos Assembly threatens total Okada ban

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday threatened to ban commercial motorcycle popularly known as Okada out rightly from the State.

Some Okada riders protesting the ban on them from plying 475 roads in the metropolis.

The Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji made the threat following a report on the destruction of government properties by the protesting Okada riders along Ikorodu road.

The House frowned at the attitude of Okada riders in the metropolis, calling on the state government to further strengthen security agencies to protect lives and property.

Mr Ikuforiji, while reacting to the incident said the House would not hesitate to ban Okada out rightly if the riders continue to destroy government property and constitute nuisance in the State.

Some Okada riders went on the rampage in various parts of Lagos State on Monday to protest the ban on them from plying 475 roads in the metropolis.

At Onipanu, on Ikorodu Road, the protesters vandalised about 10 BRT buses during the violent protest against the Lagos State Government.

Armed with sticks, iron roads and other dangerous weapons, the Okada riders hauled stones at BRT buses on Ikorodu road at Onipanu and Palmgrove bus stops.

There was pandemonium in the area and a team of policemen from the Rapid Response Squad, RRS was deployed to the area to quell the protest.
It was gathered that some arrests were made by the police but the number of arrests is yet to be confirmed.

Similarly, the riders also protested in Ikorodu and Ejigbo areas of the state this morning over the ban on them by government. In Ejigbo, the riders blocked the road, causing traffic jam in the area while they carried leaves and chanted anti-government songs. They rejected the ban placed on them from plying 475 roads in Lagos, saying it would cripple their businesses.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the protest, saying the police moved in on time to quell the protest.

Total war on Okada

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has declared a total war on commercial motorcycle riders plying the 475 prohibited routes in the Lagos metropolis.

Speaking at a forum to enlighten military officials in Lagos, the State governor, Babatunde Fashola solicited the assistance of the army in the implementation of the new traffic law.

“The military gave us this democracy, so there must be a continuing partnership to keep it going,” Mr Fashola said.

The governor however insisted that such partnership would happen “only where the rule of law prevails.”

He said: “About the Okada, for me, I understand the economics of the okada. But it also has the social effects. Many fathers have lost their children; many husbands have lost their wives; many children have lost both parents.

“All we are saying is don’t go on the highways. First because we must even understand, Okadas and vehicles are automobiles; they are not toys; they are mechanical devices and therefore for you to even use them you must go and train. That’s why you go to driving school to go and learn; then they certify you.

“Somebody just pulls okada from any parts of the country he likes, gets onto a truck, he’s going to Lagos and then you entrust your life to that man? As if that was not bad enough, he drives against traffic?

Fashola urges public officials to refrain from making investor damaging comments

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Thursday urged public officials to refrain from statements that could damage investor confidence in the country saying such statements pose greater danger to the National Economy.

Governor Fashola, who spoke at the 6th Annual Public Financial Lecture of the Lagos State House of Assembly, said such statements that allude to bankruptcy and crippling debts facing either the country or the states were capable of eroding the confidence of investors in the nation’s economy, a situation which could further stunt economic growth and development of the country.

Speaking against the backdrop of a recent statement credited to the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Mr. Elias Noam, alleging that most of the 36 states of the country were under financial stress while others were bankrupt, Governor Fashola advised against generalization of statements about public accounting noting that the allegation of bankruptcy could send wrong signals to    investors.

“In recent times, I have read reports, screaming headlines such as ‘States face bankruptcy’, ‘N346 billion debt cripples states’, ‘Nigerian states are broke’. In interrogating those statements, what has come to the fore is an expression of concern , very well meaning concern I must emphasize, about the amount states spend on either debt servicing , their recurrent liabilities and so on. But I dare say that there is an inherent danger in the way these concerns are reported”, the Governor said.

According to the Governor, “Here we are trying to grow the economy, trying to stimulate the local investment which is the most important investment, hopefully to be followed by international investments as is done everywhere. How many of us will continue to transact business with a state that is bankrupt?”

Governor Fashola noted that although spending a large percentage of income on debt servicing is not ideal, it is not the same thing as insolvency or bankruptcy. “I have looked up the meaning of bankruptcy and it clearly denotes an inability to pay debt. It means insolvency in the real sense of the word”, he said.

“Now, if from the body of what we read, the states are spending a large proportion of their revenue and are borrowing to finance their debts, the fact that you are paying those debts, to me, is the antithesis of insolvency”, the Governor said pointing out that a concern that is paying its debt is not insolvent.

On the question of reducing the borrowing power of states by the National Assembly, Governor Fashola declared, “Regulation of State borrowing must take into account their larger responsibility to the whole society and the population they serve.  The regulation must also be determined by their State Legislature during the process of appropriation and not by the National Assembly”, pointing out that elected representatives at the Federal level are not representing the Federal Government but constituencies of various states that form the Federation.

Governor Fashola said the representatives should, therefore, make laws that promote the development of the states which, according to him, “are the federating units because the Federal Government exists to carry out development objectives of the Federation in areas of common convenience only”.

He described as dangerous the recommendation to the National Assembly to reduce the borrowing power of states to 20 percent of what they earn from the Federation Account advising the Assembly to decline such a recommendation because, according to him, “First of all, the budget of each is peculiar to its developmental aspirations and it is a matter upon which the elected representatives of that state in the Legislative arm have made pronouncements by enacting appropriation laws”.

“They have seen the cash flow, they have seen the projections, they have seen the deficits and provisions and therefore it is anomalous to expect the National Assembly of the Federation to begin to make legislation encroaching upon the powers of each state to determine what its borrowing limits should be”, the Governor said.

Governor Fashola said instead of making laws that would inhibit the development of the states, “it is perhaps necessary to ask us to interrogate all those places where there are lapses and see how we can tighten up and ensure that citizens get value for their money”, adding, “But that smoking gun attitude that everybody is a thief must change”.

Advising against curtailing governments in their ability to raise public fund in a very reliable and credible way especially when they show their income strength and the ability to pay adding, “We want more of what we are already having where private corporations begin to build roads, begin to donate boreholes, hospitals and clinics, which is really the business of government. That is the danger that is inherent in all of that”.

Governor Fashola cited the time in 2002 when the Government of Lagos State raised N25 billion bond and drew down N15 billion and people shouted that the future of a generation had been mortgaged adding, “It was with that money that the infrastructure of Oregun, Awolowo Onikan and all of that, the Millennium schools were built”.

“At that time, those of us out of government believed that our future had been mortgaged but it was when I got into government that I found out that the debts were being serviced and by the time I became Governor, we paid up the balance”, the Governor explained.

Making further case for freedom of states to raise public funds for development, Governor Fashola said the money the State Government raised was well utilized on such projects as Eko Education Project adding, “It is part of that foreign loan that goes to fund Mile 12 to Ikorodu Town; out of that foreign loan is the BRT you see today” adding, “now is it not money well spent?”