…Considers law to regulate multiple taxation by transport unions
By Eromosele Ebhomele
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday frowned at the alleged recklessness of some motorists operating in the state just as the lawmakers raised concerns over the activities of some officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
At a plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the House invited the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Osiyemi, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa, to appear and give explanations concerning the incessant recklessness of drivers and the roles played by LASTMA officials.
Also invited, among others, is the General Manager of LASTMA, Bolaji Oreagba.
The decision of the House followed a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ raised by a member, Hon. Temitope Adewale, on the death of two officials of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) resulting from a road rage engaged in by two drivers.
Speaker Obasa, while noting that incidents involving recklessness of drivers and careless attitudes of LASTMA officials were on the increase, said, in addition to the invitation of the affected top officials, there was a need to revisit the laws guiding transportation in the state.
“The Commissioner and others can be invited so we know what to do to change the current narrative. It is good that we also look at the law to see the penalties. Maybe this would reduce such recklessness on the roads.
“The driver who has been arrested must be prosecuted to the latter. If the driver is not found, the owner of the vehicle should be arrested where the driver is an employee of someone so as to serve as deterrent to other motorists,” Dr. Obasa said.
The Speaker also supported suggestions by the Majority Leader, Noheem Adams, and another lawmaker, Gbolahan Yishawu, that modern technology be added by the government in the cleaning of roads in the state, but said it was necessary to accommodate the sweepers, who, he argued, were employed to earn a living and assist their families.
“We have to call on our people, the road users, to be very careful. LAWMA should also come up with ideas to help protect staff, insure them and make the motorists know when the sweepers are working,” the Speaker said while calling for more enlightenment of motorists.
The House held a minute silence in honour of the deceased while Obasa instructed the Clerk, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to convey a condolence message to the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, the House of Assembly may dust up the law regulating transportation to address the problem of alleged multiple taxations by various unions in the sector.
Dr. Obasa gave the hint following a motion raised by Hon. Adewale, over a recent protest against alleged extortion by the transport unions in Lagos.
“This alleged extortion affects our people generally and looking at the economic condition of the country, we need to intervene. We must be able to define the paths that these unionists have to tread so that they do not make life unbearable for the people.
“At every bus stop, they collect money causing traffic snare. At the end, the man making the payment would go home with nothing and to avoid this, he has to put the weight on the commuters.
“We must avoid a situation where people would be moved to take laws into their hands. We need to extract seriousness out of this situation. Where there is a law, there will be penalties,” he said while calling for the engagement of candidates recently interviewed for recruitment into the Neighbourhood Safety Corps to expand the security network in the state.
The House resolved to invite the transport unions in the state for discussion.
Media Assistant to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.