To ensure safety of all users on Lagos roads, the Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Transportation introduced the ‘No Vehicle Inspection, No Road Worthiness Certificate’ Policy effective from January 2022.
For the month of January, 26,442 were inspected under the new vehicle inspection policy.
Of the number, the State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, disclosed that 15,998 vehicles were found worthy to ply Lagos roads while 10,444 vehicles failed the minimum safety standard test.
Oladeinde, in a statement on Tuesday said some of the vehicles that failed the test had reported for a retest while awaiting others.
Speaking further on the safety standard policy, the commissioner stated that the policy was introduced to clamp down on rickety vehicles responsible for incessant accidents, loss of lives and property within the metropolis.
He added that, it is also aimed at addressing traffic congestion caused by several breakdowns of vehicles due to the old process which is no longer sustainable.
“The Lagos state government has introduced a Booking System to stem the surge recorded at some vehicle inspection centres. Vehicle inspection would now be based on scheduled appointments while the 30 days window of inspection period had been reviewed to 60 days to reduce panic surge presently seen in some of the inspection test centres. The backlog of already referred vehicles would be cleared between now and February 14 to give room for the Booking System.
“Vehicle Inspection Officers are also engaging other commercial drivers at various motor parks for vehicle checks to further reduce convergence of vehicles at the inspection test centres,” he said.
Road users lament tedious process, endless hours under scorching
Reactions have continued to trail the introduction of the new safety standard policy as road users lament loss of productive hours at the 27 Vehicle Inspection Station test centres across the state while taking turn for their vehicles to be inspected.
Some of them spoke with newsexplorersng.com complaining about the tedious physical process which, according to them, is time wasting, not thorough and burdensome.
In spite of the 30 days window of inspection period which had been reviewed to 60 days to reduce panic surge, they expressed fear of not meeting up with the deadline.
When our correspondent visited the VIS office in Ishola, Surulere, Lagos, scores of private car owners who have had their vehicles either seized by the Inspection officers for expired license or are there for license renewal were seen loitering the premises.
A car user, Akande Azeez, explained the process involved in getting his road worthiness certificate.
The process, according to him, was stress free, adding that, “I live on Ishola Street where the VIS office is located. I am familiar with some of the officers, so, this made it easy for me to either renew my license or get my road worthiness certificate.
Like this morning, I only call one of the officers on his phone and I forwarded my name and car number plate to him and within few minutes, the certificate is ready for collection. The process is stress free. It is as simple as walking in without your vehicle and parting with the amount requested for the certificate to be issued. But for those that are not willing to play by the rules, it is a stressful process.”
Another road user, Anibaba A.Y, complained about the slow pace of physical inspection.
He said, “I have been to the vehicle inspection centre at Ishola Street, Surulere on two occasions. The first time, I got there at about 8:30am; I was given number 44 while the officials were attending to number 5. I couldn’t wait so I left. The following day (February 1), I went back to the centre; I was given number 46.
I didn’t bother to inquire about the number of vehicle they have attended to since the people on the queue were just too many. I am appealing to the Lagos State government to review its policy on the road worthiness issuance in order to avoid impending clash between state vehicle officials and motorists.”
On his part, Abiodun Ayodeji described the process as time wasting, saying “I spent 9hrs while processing my road worthiness certificate, so annoying.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde, at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Conference held in Lagos in 2019, disclosed that over 1.6 million vehicles ply Lagos roads on a daily basis.
Out of this number, he stated, 75, 000 commercial buses cater for about 10,000 public-passenger trips per day with an average of 12,000 public transport trips generated daily.
Findings revealed that bulk of the number of commercial buses plying Lagos roads are rickety, smoky exhaust pipe and not road worthy and are responsible for accident on Lagos roads.
On this, some road users have expressed displeasure over the exclusion of commercial ‘Yellow’ buses, heavy duty trucks and trailers from the State safety standard test despite being responsible for major accident on Lagos roads.
A resident in LSDPC Estate in Isolo, Lagos, Boladale Ajala, laments how trucks and trailers which broke down on the bridge almost on a daily basis subject road users to an untold hardship.
He said, “We encounter terrible traffic situation along that axis and it is unfortunate that this is caused by trailers which always breakdown on the Daleko bridge.
Many of these trucks are in bad shape and are not worthy of plying Lagos roads but since there is no law compelling their owners to subject them to road worthiness test; they continue to operate and wreak havoc on other road users.
I think the concentration of the state government should be more on commercial buses, trailers and trucks.”
Meanwhile some Facebook users have reacted to the new safety standard policy expressing their fears and concerns about the policy which, according to them, will inflict more pains and hardship on the citizenry.
A Facebook user, Alfred Kio wondered why the Lagos state government limited the inspection to private cars.
He wrote, “Why is Lagos state government limiting its road worthiness inspection to private cars? I was at Odogunyan VIS office today (Wednesday), only private cars are being inspected. Not a single commercial vehicles, trailers or tankers are in sight. It is apparent that commercial passengers vehicles, trailers and tankers breakdown most on our roads, yet they are not harassed.”
For Ade Abiola, the safety standard policy is a welcome development but priority, according to him, must be given to road reconstruction.
He wrote, “As much as I support this scheme, it has to be balanced out by fixing roads unless the government is ready for litigations by road users for damages caused by bad roads.”
Emmanuel Adeshina wrote, “I will implore the government to fix the road before requesting for vehicles to be brought for inspection and the road worthiness certificate issued. The truth is, the roads are not worthy themself.”
For Prince Olu Adewole the decision is, “misplaced priority. Lagos government love seeing Lagosians suffer. The days of this government are numbered.”