Since the rebirth of democracy ten years ago, it seems as if Lagos has been re-born. From eight Tinubu years to the two years of reigning governor Raji Fashola there are several things which have been swept along the wayside in the name of progress and democracy. Here are some of them:
LAWMA (Lagos State Waste Management Authority), was renamed under the Edict No 55 under the administration of Colonel Olagunsoye Oyinlola(rtd). The agency is responsible for the collection and disposal of all municipal and industrial waste.
Operation Sweep, a military outfit created by the Lagos State military administrator Brigadier Buba Marwa (Rtd). This was set up to fight the ‘area boys’, touts and aiding the police in fighting armed robbery in the state. The agency has grown from strength to strength since its inception in the early 70s.
Commercial motorcycles aka Okadas: Due to the lack of adequate transportation, Lagosians turned to this new phenomenon due to its speed and convenience. In the mid nineties, there was a surge of Okadas in the metropolis due to their being chased out of the nation’s capital, Abuja and the sudden entrepreneural nature of many, there seems to be a lot of them in the former capital.
Last year, the Federal Road Safety Commission issued a directive, ordering all Okada operators to have protective helmets on.
Commercial tricycles aka Keke Napep or Marwa: In conjunction with the National Poverty Eradication Programme, the Buba Marwa administration set up the poverty alleviation scheme aided to provide business opportunities for many without jobs and on the brink of poverty in order for them to lead more fulfilling lives. Early this year, the federal government invested N2.4billion in the purchase of 5,000 tricycles, commonly known as Keke-NAPEP.
Bus Rapid Transit system (LAMATA and LAGBUS): As thousands and thousands of people flock into the metropolis, various state governors have understood the need of having a basic transport system that works and is affordable.
It all started in the 70s under the civilian rule of Lateef Jakande with the State Mass Transit Scheme, and has now been followed by the recent Bus Rapid Transit scheme (BRT). In catering to Lagosians, both bus schemes proved effective.
Corporate cabs: taking a cue from its Abuja counterpart, the Lagos State Government licenced the Corporate Cab Services to operate taxi and car hire services for its citizenry.
The services are charged by hired time with all cabs installed with taxi meters and e-payment terminals to ensure that customers get good value for their money. On May 27th this year, the state government launched its second phase of the programme by unveiling five more operators and introducing 1,255 new taxis at the Lagos House, Ikeja. They are E-Taxi, Orange Cabs, C-Trans Global, I-Trans, and Red Cabs.
With all the strides that Lagos has achieved over the past ten years, there are still some hiccups which we cannot ignore, and here are some of them:
– The perpetual traffic congestion: Although this misfortune cannot be attributed to Lagos alone, every major city in the world suffers from it, but it is the nature of the average Lagos situation that makes it peculiar. Even though the presence of state transport workers such as LASTMA aid in some cases, it seems traffic congestion is something that could be equated with living in the former capital. Maybe it would be wise to follow the British route and begin the congestion charge.
– Shuttle trains which usually run from Lagos to Abeokuta are now a thing of the past. With the non-existent rail service in the country, the Lagos – Abeokuta route has been left to rot. Many are eagerly anticipating its rebirth under the the current administration’s LAMATA scheme.