*Cautions stakeholders in aviation sector, others against flouting traffic laws
By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos
Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) on Thursday warned stakeholders in the aviation sector and members of the public to henceforth desist from flouting the State Traffic Law with regard to plying one way on Airport Road, failure of which appropriate provisions of the law would apply.
Speaking during a joint enforcement carried out in the axis by LASTMA and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos Police Command, General Manager of the Agency, Mr Olawale Musa, said the State Government had been inundated with several reports of motorists driving against traffic in the corridor, and that it would not allow such illegality to continue.
While addressing the aviation stakeholders, which included members of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport chapters of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, the LASTMA GM said it had been observed that operators in the axis and members of the public were flouting the State Traffic Law with attendant dangers on other road users, as well as lives and property.
He said the development was also hindering the ongoing massive expansion and reconstruction of the Airport Road being undertaken by the State Government.
The LASTMA boss said: “As people are aware, there is ongoing expansion of the Airport Road and we have deployed our men strategically along the axis to ease traffic. Along the line, we saw that we are having this challenge of people passing one way from the Hajj Camp end and every time our men challenge them, they tell us Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) gave them the authority to pass one way. They even challenge us that this is a federal road and that state law does not apply.
“We believe that should not happen and we went there to see what is happening and we actually saw people plying one way but we are very sure that FAAN cannot tell anybody to flout the laws of the land.
We have held discussions with them and we understand their challenge, which is basically the need for a U-turn while the new construction work is ongoing.
“We will try and help them to solve the problem but we will not allow anybody to pass one way in the axis. The dangers in doing so are of greater proportion and the State Government cannot allow people to break the law with impunity,” Musa said.
He added that another meeting had been scheduled between LASTMA, the contractor handling the Airport Road and the aviation stakeholders to resolve the issue raised by the operators, but insisted that the agency would not allow anybody to pass one way in the axis.
Also speaking, RRS Commander, ACP Olatunji Disu said the police would work with LASTMA to ensure sanity and compliance with the relevant traffic laws in the axis and all parts of the State.
“We will not close our eyes to people flouting the laws of the land. I have the instruction of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal to assist LASTMA to ensure that we stop this and that is exactly what we have done today,” Disu said.
The operation was led by the Chief Executive Officer of LASTMA, Mr Chris Olakpe, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police.