Over 400 officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) were dismissed from service for various offences between 2010 and 2011, its chief executive, Young Arebame, said on Tuesday.
Speaking during a visit of some Lagos lawmakers to the Oshodi, Lagos office of LASTMA, Mr. Arebame noted that the erring LASTMA officials were dismissed over extortion, bribery and other offences
He said that a provost department had been set up to entertain public complaints and checkmate the excesses of LASTMA officials.
He, however, lamented the rate at which LASTMA officials were being assaulted and brutalised by members of the public while performing their duties.
“Nobody seems to be sympathetic with LASTMA, and most of these traffic offenders are the elite,” he said.
According to Mr. Arebame, all LASTMA officials are placed on special insurance, which gives them the opportunity to receive medical treatment in case of an injury.
He said that a bill proposing an amendment to the Law which established LASTMA, had been sent to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, which would send it to the lawmakers for amendment.
During the visit, Bisi Yusuf, the Chairman, Committee on Transport, Lagos State House of Assembly, asked LASTMA to publish names of traffic offenders who assaulted its officials while on duty.
Mr. Yusuf condemned motorists who fought traffic officials performing their lawful duties.
“LASTMA was set up to control traffic on our roads and anybody who beats or embarrasses them publicly would not go free,’’ said Mr. Yusuf, who represents Alimosho 2 constituency in the House.
Also speaking during the visit, Olanrewaju Oshun (Lagos Mainland II), called for adequate protection for LASTMA officials in the course of easing traffic congestion on the roads.
He said that Lagos residents should not see LASTMA officials as enemies of motorists, urging the public to accord them the respect commensurate to the huge responsibility placed on them.
Mr. Oshun said that the House would examine the law which established LATSMA, with a view to reviewing it to enable it perform its duty better.