Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Tuesday handed over to Lagosians the first ever traffic radio station in Nigeria, the Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1, with an appeal to motorists in the State to put their vehicles on the roads only when absolutely necessary in order to ease traffic.
Governor Fashola, who performed the ceremony at the Lagos Television premises, put the vehicular density of the State at 224 vehicles per kilometre pointing out that traffic could be greatly eased, especially at rush hours if people who had no compelling reason to use their vehicles at such hours could keep away from the roads.
The Governor advised that people could also use their mobile phones to transact business or contact friends without necessarily using their vehicles or make their trips after the rush hours adding that doing otherwise would only compound the traffic situation and increase travel time with all its disadvantages.
“Time is money. Sometimes, you need not make that journey. By the use of your mobile phone, you can transact that business or contact that friend instead of putting your vehicle on the road. Time is money. If you are caught in traffic, you lose time, you lose money and you suffer stress”, the Governor said
Governor Fashola, who described Lagos as the power house of the Nigerian economy, said the Lagos Traffic Radio was another of his administration’s innovations to manage the traffic in the mega-city adding that it would enable residents plan their day and reduce travel time to and from work or business.
According to him, “The Lagos Traffic Radio will help you make informed choice as to the route to follow when you set out to work or business in the morning. The radio will give you first hand information on the traffic situation so that you can manage your time well and save cost”.
The Governor, who said the project took a better part of three years to accomplish, thanked the immediate former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele who, according to him, was the initiator of the project and who worked assiduously to see it through.
He also thanked the incumbent Commissioner in the Ministry, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and the Special Adviser to the Governor in the Ministry, Mr. Lateef Raji, for their commitment in seeing the project to it successful conclusion saying it was a good example of the continuity in governance for which Lagos State was noted.
Governor Fashola also paid tribute to his predecessors, the first Military Governor of the State, Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson who, he noted, put Lagos on the path of progress and the first Civilian Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who, according to him, established the first radio station on Lagos, the Radio Lagos.
The Governor, accompanied by his two predecessors, Brig.-General Johnson and Alhaji Jakande as well as their wives, later cut the tape to declare the station open and also made the first broadcast on the station.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, said the Lagos Traffic Radio was part of the several innovative responses of the present administration to the perennial traffic challenges on the State adding that it was aimed at making the State an investors delight.
According to the Commissioner, in order to make every investor get his money’s worth in the State, “the traffic situation must be well managed in a more scientific manner, hence the need for a traffic radio station”
“The station”, the Commissioner said, “is prepared for the challenges of meeting the expectations of the 21st Century listening audience in terms of content and facilities”, adding that the feedback since it commenced test transmission on 96.1 MHZ since the last three weeks was very satisfactory.
Noting that the station would form an invaluable avenue for the education of Lagosians on best traffic and road use practices, Ibirogba said the expectation of Government was that “as the station commences full operation, there will be drastic reduction in traffic gridlocks on our roads as motorists would be well informed on traffic situations and thus plan their journeys more scientifically”.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Head of Service, Prince Adeseye Ogunlewe, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaiye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Raji among other members of the State Executive Council, House of Representative Member for Ikorodu, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Body of Permanent Secretaries, including Permanent Secretary Information and Strategy, Mrs. Oluranti Odutola and her LTV counterpart, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo, Traditional and Religious leaders and other top government functionaries.
-World Stage Group