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Fashola Calls For Abolition of Siren For Presidents, Governors, Others

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has called for the abolishment of use of siren for all public officers, including the president and governors.

sirenThe governor spoke while flagging off a three-day meeting of the National Council on Transport in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday lamented the nuisance the use of siren posed to the public and that it was better to stop using it entirely.

“Sirens aren’t made here. We buy them to enrich other economy. They were made in factories outside the country. And then we use loud horn especially the one used during emergency. Are we in a state of perpetual emergency? If those who manage the public transport policy can get away by using sirens, it will never work”.

“It is even worse that people elect us to manage public transport on their behalf and we choose to escape from it. After riding in a free car paid for coupled with the free fuel, it is an abdication of duty”, the governor said.

Fashola added that “from the day that I have become governor in this state and until this moment, I haven’t had course to use it and I don’t intend to use it. I detest noise, but I think that it is even worse that people elect us to manage public transport on their behalf and we choose to escape from it.

“After riding in a free car paid for coupled with the free fuel, it is an abdication of duty. It must apply across the board. At least at the state level, I can speak. My commissioners have very glared order; they will lose their job if they do.”

“Let us get rid of all this sirens. They aren’t made here. We buy them to enrich other economy. They were made in factories outside the country. And then we use loud horn, especially the one use during emergency. Are we in a state of perpetual emergency? If those who manage the public transport policy can get away by using sirens, it will never work,” he stated.

However, Fashola advocated the creation of an enabling environment in the sector to attract private capital investment, saying that care must be taken while regulating the sector to ensure that the environment remained attractive to private investors.

“Let me lend my voice to the necessity for regulation in the transport sub-sector of our economy but, in doing so, may I also advise that the legislation must be such that it promotes participation of private capital and Private Sector scheme in the organization and operations of public transportation.

“This is the way it must be if the objective of using transportation as catalyst for economic growth will be met. We must create an environment that enable private sector operators to find public transportation attractive as a business in which they can put their resources, in which they can invest their money, their time and in which they can make heavy returns,” he stated.

He, however, added that regulation by the policy makers must ensure that fair returns would not necessarily translate to excessive profiteering adding that Lagos State was already applying the models through the use of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) as regulators on road transportation and Lagos Water Transport Authority (LASTWA) as regulators for water transportation.

According to the governor, “The capacity to use public transportation to create jobs, to create economic growth, to improve the Gross Domestic Product of the component states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria derives from how encouraged the Private Sector is to participate in that sector”.

“It is from there we can really have Small, Medium and those other types of businesses that the owners grow gradually until they become big in their various sector,” he said, citing such transport companies as Ekenedili Chukwu, Young Shall Grow and others who, according to him, started with one bus and have become big in their various sectors.

Calling for sanction for illegal operators of public transportation, Fashola said they represented major debilitating factor to the growth of transportation in the country, adding, “if people play by the rules, they register, they get state carriage, get licenses, and they pay taxes”.

“We owe a duty to protect those who invest and commit their assets and who play by the rules from those who violate the rules. There are a lot of those agencies mostly paramilitary agencies who operate bus transport system without control. This is the time to put a stop to it. If they have cooperatives that intend to participate in the transportation sector, they must do so in accordance with the laid down rules and regulation in the territory in which they wish to do so,” he stated.

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