Lagos Targets Noise Pollution Control With ‘No Horn Day’

opeifaThe Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa has said that the purpose of observing the “Lagos No Horn Day” is to have a noise pollution free day in Lagos.

The Commissioner told Channels Television on Wednesday that the containment of the Ebola Virus Disease showed that Nigerians could achieve whatever they want to achieve.

“Ebola was contained in Lagos properly and if we can contain Ebola that is not in our individual control, how much more something that we bought with our money, to be used for our comfort, then we can do without it,” he said.

Speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Mr Opeifa referred to honking as an environmental and health issue, explaining that the noise level in the transportation sector is about 90 decimal according to World Health Organisation he stressed that the Lagos “No Horn Day” campaign was aimed at solving a public health issue through a social intervention idea.

“If you have a public health issue and you use social intervention to solve it, you get a better result.”

The Commissioner also explained that to further ensure the achievement of the noise polution free day, the state government had created lanes for both motorists and pedestrians.

He emphasised that if people adhere to the signs by staying on their lanes honking would be less. “My administration is not afraid of taking a bold step or making mistake and that is because we would be accused for not making an effort,” the Commissioner for Transport said.

Mr Opeifa also said that accidents caused on the roads were sometimes due to human error, attributed to impatience. “Noise pollution causes the adrenaline level to rise, it makes one get aggressive and it also triggers loss of hearing capacity. If there is a need to honk, especially when it comes to saving a life, then it should be used.

The Commissioner noted that, “since the governor said it was looking at controlling the use of horn, his driver had not used the horn for a year now.

Lagos Must Heighten Enforcement Of Okada Restriction Law- Opeifa

Kayode_OpeifaThe Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, on Saturday, warned that the state needs to do more to enforce the law restricting motorcyclists from plying a total of 475 roads.

“We hav not changed anything about the restriction law, it is still in force”he said, adding that “Lagos State is not the only state with such restriction in place.

“What we seem to notice that there are violations and outright disregard for the law and this is a sign that we need to do more to enforce the law”, he said.

He however said despite the restrictions, “you can ride any bike above 200cc on all roads” but warned that “it must not be for passenger carrying purposes”.

The commissioner, who noted that about 20 states in the country also have such restrictions in the country, noted that “Lagos has the most friendly regulations on motor cycles in this country”.

He further noted that it is the responsibility of all security agencies in the state to enforce the restriction law but noted that only the Nigeria Police has been doing so “since we started in November 2012 and they have been doing their best”.

He however maintained that people who don’t want the best for the State “started making media publications describing the operations of the police as harassment and extortion” and that “naturally set in some issues and it got to a point it became difficult”.

A youth activist, Lukman Lawal, said most of the youths that have chosen to ride motor-cycles for commercial purposes are doing so because of the “failure of the government” to provide adequate jobs.

He however noted that “any law that will better your health, welfare and make your security improve is a good law” adding that “to that extent you (okada riders) do not have any business with those roads.

“It is a fantastic law” he adds.

A former Trade Unionist, Mr Linus Okoroji, who has been carrying an Okada accident inflicted wound for eight months, on his part said he supported the Okada Restriction Law at the first instance.

He said no “Nigerian will be proud to join Okada as a means of transport, even in the rural areas let alone the urban areas about 25 years ago”, wondering how the country “managed to come to this level.

“As far as I am concerned, I am one of those who supported the law at the first instance”, revealing that “my colleagues in the civil society fought against me and walked me out of a meeting.

“But I am strong in my conviction that the law should remain”, he added.

The state government had on August, 2012 signed the Lagos State Traffic Law in to law. The objective of the legislation was to provide for road traffic administration.

It also seeks, among others, to restore sanity in the state transportation system of the state.

Some of the roads include Lagos Ibadan Expressway, Apapa Oshodi, Oworonshoki, Lagos Ikorodu, Lagos-Abeokuta, Agege motor road, Egbeda, Ikotun, Ikeja, Funsho Williams Avenue, Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road among others.

Lagos To Observe Horn Free Day

Horn Free DayThe Lagos State Government has concluded plans to set a date aside to be observed as a Horn Free Day every year.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, made this known in his Alausa office on Friday.

The Commissioner said that the observance of the Horn Free Day is expected to reduce noise pollution from the use of the horn, improve road courtesy, improve lane discipline and draw motorists’ attention to the importance of road discipline and mutual respect for other road users.

He said that Governor Fashola has challenged road users in Lagos State to observe a Horn Free Day, which is designed to complement the on-going efforts by the Lagos State Government in the provision and upgrading of traffic infrastructure across the State.

The activities lined up towards the Horn Free Day, which is slated for Wednesday October 15, 2014, would involve active engagement of radio and television stations in generating discussions challenging road users to observe a Horn Free Day.

It would also include endorsement by relevant stakeholders, as well as ember months campaign by the Vehicle Inspection Service to advocate, educate and enlighten road users on road safety.

The Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI) would also be embarking on a community outreach programme which involves market and motor park engagements that will provide an avenue for discussion of the Horn Free Day and the engagement of Traffic Safety Ambassadors to partner with the Ministry of Transportation to support the successful observation of the Horn Free Day.

Opeifa urged all motorists, Lagosians and the general public to support the State Government by observing and adhering to the Horn Free Day exercise.

Lagos Traffic Law Is About Safety, Not Politics Says Fashola

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) who met with leaders of commercial motorcycle riders associations and Community Development Committees (CDC)  in the State over the implementation of the State Traffic Law as it affect operators of motorbikes, has maintained that the law is a good policy which the State will not reverse.

Governor Fashola who spoke on Tuesday in the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Ikeja at a meeting attended by the Police High Command in the State said the issue of the implementation of the State Traffic law is not a political issue but that of safety.

He added that like every good policy, it can indeed be improved upon, but motorcycle operators must obey the law and reduce the excesses associated with some of them.

Fashola however, charged the senior law enforcement officers to ensure that their men who engage in illegalities are clamped down. He reiterated that even in the approved routes, the motorcycle operators cannot carry more than one passenger and cannot drive against traffic or ride the motor bikes without wearing a crash helmet because it is all about being alive.

According to Governor Fashola, the people can also monitor and participate in the enforcement process by ensuring that in the various Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas where there are problems, the people can work together with the Divisional Police Officers (DPO) and Area Commanders through the Police Community Relations Committees (PCRC) to address such issues.

He expressed the hope that the operators of commercial motorcycles would organize themselves better and utilize the open door policy of the present administration to reach it, adding: “Let us know what the problems are and if people are impersonating you, use the open door policy to reach us. Let us know if they are people impersonating, you let us work together to get them out of the business. So that we know who we are dealing with”.

Governor Fashola stated that the State Government appreciates the support of the commercial motorcycle operators for the ruling party in the State and values it but that the level of responsibility expected of them is bigger in terms of supporting the government to protect life and property.

He reiterated that the Police Commissioner or the Assistant Inspector General cannot be everywhere at all times but that the motorcycle operators also owe it a duty to take the necessary steps about the identities of Policemen who engage in such infractions, adding that such officers would be fished out.

Fashola also called for the setting up of Contact Committees across the various Police Area Commands, which should be decentralized by the Local Government Chairmen down the line so that the face of those monitoring and supervising is well known to the people.

The Governor said if complaints would be raised by the commercial motorcycle operators against the implementation of the law, it is only after they have complied with its provisions that government can take feedback and possibly review some part of it.

Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa said the State Traffic Law 2012 has assisted the government to get a high level of compliance which has come with a lot of media advocacy.

He stressed that the Traffic Law came into being not only to improve the responsibility of preservation of life and property, improve security, traffic situation but also to improve traffic management and control in the State.

The Lagos State Chairman of the Association of All Nigerian Auto-bike Commercial Owners and Workers Association (ANACOWA), Mr Ade Ikuesan had described the State Traffic Law as a good law that has prevented riders from having accidents on the roads.

He pleaded with the State to assist in stopping the harassment of Okada riders by some people who are taking advantage of the implementation of the law because they are law abiding citizens who would not violate any law of the state.

Also speaking, Chairman, Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS), Mr Tijani Pekins pleaded with the Governor to ensure that he does everything possible to make sure that Okadas exist in Lagos State, adding that many of the Okadas that ply restricted routes belong to non-members of the recognized unions of Okada riders in the State.

 

Fashola Hosts Army Chief, Urges Military To Defend Nation’s Democracy

Fashola with COASLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday charged the military in the country to always do everything possible to protect and nurture the nation’s budding democracy to enable it grow and benefit all Nigerians.

The Governor, who made the call while hosting the new Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant- General Kenneth Minimah, at the Lagos House, Marina, noted that it was the responsibility of the military to defend and support democracy to grow, once any society has moved to embrace it as its system of government.

“Across Europe before the institution of democracy, the military played a substantial role in governance, but once the society moves on, as we have moved on to embrace democracy, the military must do everything possible to sustain that democracy and must refrain from anything that will undermine that democracy, whether in the minds of the people or individually”, the Governor said.

Acknowledging that the nation’s military had done very well in this area as well as in the defence of the nation’s territorial integrity, Fashola noted that there were a few bad eggs that must not be allowed to destroy the good reputation of the military.

The Governor declared, “We know that the military has done very well; but like in every other institution, there is always a few bad eggs. They are in the minority and, as I always say, we must do everything possible to fish them out and put them where they belong.”

He congratulated the new Army boss on his elevation and noted that it has been the lot of every military officer who has had the privilege to serve in Lagos to be elevated as soon as he or she is moved from the state as was the case of the last two General Officers Commanding (GOCs) who moved from the state.

The Governor ascribed this to a rub-off effect of the state as ‘Centre of Excellence’ saying, “As the Centre of Excellence, I do not think anybody should expect anything less from those who served here because of the multi-national family that you interact with here and the experience that it brings. The challenges, of course, are many”.

He prayed that the new Army boss and his officers and men would find the needed inspiration as they continue to tackle the insecurity challenges facing the nation and, expressed the hope that the Military would also take all measures to secure the territorial integrity of the country.

“Let me lend my voice of inspiration as you and your officers and men respond to the national insecurity challenges that we face as a nation and we hope also that you will take all the measures that you need to secure the territorial integrity of the country”, he said.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Chief of Army Staff said that he was in Lagos as part of his tour of the Army formations under his command across the country, adding that the courtesy visit was a routine one normally made to Chief Executives of states where he visits before undertaking the tour of the formation in any state.

Thanking the Governor for rescheduling his travel for lesser Haddj in order to receive him, Lt. Gen. Minimah expressed delight at meeting the Governor and promised to do his utmost during his tenure to uphold democracy and defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also present at the occasion were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba; his Transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (Rtd) while the Chief of Army Staff was accompanied by other top Military officers including, Major-General Patrick Akeu, Major-General Letam Wiwa, Major-General  Abayomi Olonisakin, Major-General Temi Dibi, Colonel Solomon Udounwa, Lt. Col. A.M. Inuwa and Lt. Col. S.M. Uba.

LASU Students Have No Objection To Tuition Introduction- Opeifa

vlcsnap-2014-06-04-09h28m24s51The Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on the Lagos State University School Fees, Mr Kayode Opeifa today cleared the air on the reported hike in tuition for students of the institution.

Mr Opeifa noted that after a series of meetings with the Student Union President, they found out that “what they are asking for is an increase in subsidy from government” insisting that “they have no objection to tuition introduction”.

“Currently the students in engineering pay N280, 000. They are saying since government has subsidised to the tune of 80-90 per cent across board, government can increase that to 95 per cent so that it can bring that amount to something lower than what it is now” he said.

He argued that the student union leader “didn’t give a true picture” of what students pay , adding that “medical students pay N350, 000 including N60, 000 for accommodation at LASUTH per annum”.

He went down memory lane to reveal that when the institution was formed in 1983, there was no tuition. He however noted that in 1995 , there was an attempt to introduce tuition, while he was there as a member of the Senate, but the matter was dropped after the Senate notified the school authority that it was the responsibility of the council and not the school authority.

He added that “in 2003 or so, tuition was again attempted to be introduced but it was not. That was when the payment of N25, 000 came. As at that time, it was not tuition, it all fell under registration, field trips, and manual fees.

“So when there was a crisis like this three years ago, LASU students went to the House of Assembly” asking for a visitation panel that will get the issue solved.

Mr Opeifa revealed that it was based on the recommendation of the visitation panel, the students asked for, that tuition was increased. While noting that the Panel did not specify the amount to be introduced, Mr Opeifa said the “rate at which they are currently paying came from the Adhoc Committee on Review of Tuition in the university” adding that “all the fees you see are from the university”.

He also noted that before the introduction of the tuition “LASU was about the only university that was not paying tuition in Nigeria”.

From the foregoing, Opeifa argued that “the crisis of paying money should not be against government and when the students came to meet the governor, they never said they are fighting government” insisting that the matter they brought was that the governor should appeal to the school authority to reduce the amount they pay”.

He however noted that the governor will do everything possible to take the appropriate decision that is in the interest of the people of Lagos, the university and putting the consideration of the university population and especially the students.

The government, according to him, will get back to the students on Monday, 9th June 2014 with its decision.

Students of the Lagos State University, Ojo, on Tuesday, barricaded the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, to protest the failure of the Lagos State government to accede to their request for reduction in their school fees.

The students, in their hundreds, barricaded the road at the Ikeja, along the road bus stop, reducing traffic to a crawling point.

Road Safety: Lagos Square Off With FERMA/SURE-P Task Force

frscThe Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act was enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by President Olusegun Obasanjo.

With this act establishing FERMA and for matters connected therewith, the agency became Nigeria’s first institutional mechanism for monitoring and maintaining, all federal roads in the country.

The Lagos State Attorney-General, Ade Ipaye, and members of the state House of Assembly, Western Nigeria raised alarm for the second time some months ago over the activities of the FERMA task force, a group of unemployed Nigerians allegedly recruited and trained by the federal agency in the state.

Many of these task force members had taken over major roads in the state, controlling traffic and taking over the jobs of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and the State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.

Earlier this week, about 200 young men were arrested in Lagos state on Wednesday, May 28, following a face-off between men of the Police and a group identified as the Federal Task Force, which claimed it has a link with the Presidency.

It was gathered that the men of the Federal Task Force attacked the Police with bottles, after the security men barged into their office located on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

On this segment of Sunrise, Commissioner for Transport, Lagos State, Kayode Opeifa, and Commissioner of Police, Lagos command, Umaru Manko speak on matters arising.

EHINGBETI 2014 To Focus On Accelerating Sustained Growth Through Power

EHINGBETI 2014The 7th Lagos Economic Summit, EHINGBETI 2014 which will hold between April 8 and 10, will focus on accelerating the sustained growth of the economy of Lagos especially through the creation of a vibrant and cost effective power sector.

On this segment of Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, Commissioner for Housing, Bosun Jeje and Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, speak on the importance of the Summit to their respective sectors.

They also stressed the need for a better power sector which would help other sectors of the economy grow and alleviate poverty.

The Summit Group was inaugurated in April 2001 as a framework for private-public partnership.

 

Ikorodu Boat Mishap: Survivor Says Accident Was Caused By Overspeeding

ikorodu mishapA survivor of the Ikorodu Boat Mishap which occurred on Wednesday night, in Lagos, told Channels Television that overload and high speed caused the accident.

According to the female survivor, Abimbola Bunmi, the driver of the ill-fated Bell Marine boat was on high speed despite the turbulent waves on the waters.

Three pregnant women and a female child, who was yet unfound, were also involved in the accident which took off from the Ebutte Jetty in Lagos at 5:34PM. While narrating the incident, Bunmi hinted that the boat was damaged and that the driver had tried to “manage it” until the boat capsized.

Although representatives of the government had said that the Lagos Water Authority had responded promptly to the distress call, an eyewitness, Pedro Elakhale, a close relative to one of the occupants of the boat, told Channels Television that local fishermen and not the water authorities rescued the victims.

Despite the allegations of late rescue operations by survivors, the managing director of the Lagos state Waterways Authority, Mr Yinka Marinho insisted that the agency had responded to the distress call on time.

During an interview on Channels Television, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, had said that the accident may have been caused by underwater obstacles which led to the boat capsizing. He, however could not confirm if human error had led to the incident but disclosed that investigations were on.

8 Feared Dead, 12 Rescued In Ikorodu Boat Mishap

Aboikorodu mishaput 8 people died on Wednesday and 12 others rescued after a boat capsized between Eko Bridge and Ikorodu waterways in Lagos State, Nigeria’s South-West region.

Local divers were said to have jumped into the water and rescued some people, while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials along with men of the Nigerian Navy and the Marine policemen patrolled the water in a bid to recover more bodies.

According to NEMA’s PRO, Ibrahim Farinloye, the boat took off from Ebute to Majidun in Ikorodu with 20 people on board and the incident occurred at about 6 PM. 12 people were rescued alive and eight died. He also revealed that as at that time six people were missing.

He noted that the boat is operated by Bell Marine Services and the management of Bell Marine Services had announced on Thursday that all occupants on the boat had been recused.

Mr. Farinloye further stated that two people out of the twelve rescued were receiving treatment at the Ikorodu General Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, told Channels Television that the accident may have been caused by underwater obstacles which led to the boat capsizing. He could not confirm if human error had led to the incident but disclosed that investigations were on.

He also disclosed that one person was still missing.

Mr Opeifa further assured that the government was spending time on dredging the waterways and installing buoys to show drivers the correct waterways.

Despite the allegations by survivors of the boat accident of late rescue operations, the Lagos state Waterways Authority insisted it responded to the distress call on time.

The managing director of the agency, Mr Yinka Marinho said that the state government usually carried out constant safety awareness campaigns and tests for operators as well as their boats.

 

Lagos Commercial Drivers, Conductors To Wear Uniforms By 2014

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said plans are in the offing to introduce a new taxi policy that makes it compulsory for the commercial bus drivers, conductors to wear uniforms and badges in the New Year.

The state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, revealed this at a stakeholder’s forum held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja.

Opeifa said that the move was part of state government’s determination to transform the public transport industry, enhance professionalism, ensure standards and safety of the people.

He said that with the new public transport management system, the state government would re-introduce the routing system in order to ensure even distribution of vehicles and non-hiking of transport fares, especially during peak periods.

According to him, the routing system is in line with Regulation 20 of the Road Traffic Law with stipulates that  no commercial vehicle shall  ply  any route other than that for which it is authorised.

Opeifa said that aside from the routing system, the commuter vehicle operator was expected to register himself, the driver and conductor before getting a commercial vehicle operator license.

The Commissioner, who said that about 200 Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) had been trained to handle the documentation, appealed to commuter vehicle operators and transport unions to go to any of the 21 vehicle inspection service centres in their localities, while the drivers and conductors should go to any of the five Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) in their division.

LASTMA officials have no right to drive impounded vehicles – Commissioner

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, has said that officials of the State Traffic Management Authority have no right to drive impounded vehicles.

Mr Opeifa made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.

“It is unlawful for LASTMA official to drive vehicles that contravened the law, except the arrested motorist resisted arrest or has no driver’s licence, which is the only guarantee for any driver to be on the road.

“We have been hearing reports of our men driving arrested vehicles. However, in the course of driving the vehicle, if there is an accident, the officer involved will be held responsible.

“My advice is that when a vehicle is arrested, the offender should cooperate by coming to Alausa to redress the issue, which at times, after scrutiny, the offender may be allowed to go without any punishment,” he said.

He also advised LASTMA officials to stop chasing unruly motorists, but rather, they should book their vehicles.