Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Tuesday challenged Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) on discipline and courtesy in law enforcement, as he inaugurated a two-storey Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) Headquarters in Ojodu area of the state.
Sanwo-Olu told the officers at the event not to molest anyone while performing their duties, but to be firm and play by the rules, telling an offender what he or she might have done wrong with courtesy.
“You must ensure that discipline be your watchword, and you must be civil in dealing with the members of the public at all times.
“We are more refined, we are better human beings, we are better officers and we are working in an environment that we can compare and compete with anybody in any part of the world.
“So, let us keep this environment working, let us be courteous when people come in for service. Let them have an experience that they will go and tell others.
“People must see that we have a human face in all of our deliverables,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that his government was committed to bringing the administration of VIS in the state in line with global best practices.
He said that the state had so far recorded substantial improvement in traffic law enforcement.
According to him, the improvement is through the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) the Lagos Computerised VIS (LACVIS) the forensic laboratory, and E-testing for Driver’s licence among others.
He said that all the initiatives were in consistence with the government’s Smart-City Project and the goal of making Lagos truly a preferred 21st-century economy.
“Now, with the commissioning, we are consolidating on the progress so far made, the VIS plays a critical support and role especially at ensuring that all vehicles that ply our roads are roadworthy and do not constitute dangers to commuters.
“We know that vehicle breakdowns are major contributors to traffic gridlock in Lagos, which results in avoidable losses of productive lives and time.
” We must therefore seek to minimise these destructive breakdowns through strict enforcement of relevant laws aided by application of modern technology.
“The major hold of this new system is to ensure that traffic flow is not negatively impacted in the process of enforcing the law,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said the structure was to help VIS render efficient and optimal services supported by a state-of-the-art technology.
“To whom much is given, much is expected,” the governor said.
According to him, the state will implement VIS modern offices in all the 57 local government and local council development areas, and 16 LGAs have been covered already.
The governor, who noted that government infrastructure was made possible through contributions of tax payers, charged the VIS to ensure adequate protection of the facility.
He said the administration would continue to invest heavily in the ongoing transportation sector reform with a view to bringing about a transport system that would contribute optimally to the growth of Lagos economy.
According to him, the reform will guarantee safety of commuters and save them travel time on their various journeys.
Sanwo-Olu said that the government would continue to build capacity of its workforce and prioritise their welfare, as a conducive work environment would motivate them to deliver optimally.
He commended the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for its role, saying that the government would make its operations 21st century with an upcoming hand-held device to capture traffic offenders.
Providing a brief description of the VIS headquarters, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, the Commissioner for Transport said the edifice accommodated all arms of the Directorate of VIS, Head of Division, Planning and Research and Pre-registration Inspection Unit.
Oladeinde said that the headquarters had Back-End-Office for the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Enforcement System, (ANPR) Training Hall, Conference Room and others.
He said that for easy synergy with other sister agencies, the building accommodated Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to provide quick, prompt and quality One Stop Service.
“This administration in ensuring safety of lives and property and has introduced the Lagos Computerised Vehicle Inspection Services (LACVIS) to ensure proper vehicular documentation and also ANPR for data analysis of traffic law offences.
“The use of ANPR in enforcing vehicle documentation has reduced the heavy presence of Vehicle Inspection Service Officers (VIOs) on the road thereby eliminating the problem or congestion caused by the presence of the officers on the road during routine checks,” Oladeinde said.
Earlier, Mr Sewedo Whenu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport said the 3rd and 4th pillar of UN Decade of Action (2011-2020) and the 3rd and 4th pillar of Road Safety Approach of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) were hinged on safe vehicles and safer roads.
Whenu said: “To achieve these pillars, the VIS personnel should be provided with the best working environment which is key to implementation of the pillars.”
Speaking, Mr Akin-Goerge Fashola, the Director of VIS said that edifice and the technology would make the service more efficient and optimal.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had in attendance, Mr Temitope Adewale, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Transport, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Head of Service, and other top government functionaries.(NAN)