Shortage of security personnel hampering enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions in Lagos ― Commissioner

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Shortage of security personnel hampering enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions in Lagos - Commissioner

Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde

By Adesina Wahab

Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde, has said the shortage of security personnel in the state is responsible for the low level of enforcement of COVID-19 and other restrictions in the transportation sector.

He added that the situation has made it imperative for individuals to take personal responsibility for their safety against the spread of the disease.

Dr. Oladeinde said this during the 12th Lagos State University Virtual Public Lecture organised by the School of Transportation and Logistics of the University, with the theme: “Staying Safe Against Covid-19 in Public and Private Transportation”.

In his presentation, he stated that the government was making efforts to reform the public transportation system of the state.

“When the pandemic started, we put in place guidelines and restrictions to ensure the safety of commuters in the state. We initially started enforcing these restrictions by arresting those who flout the law. But considering the economic hardship brought about by the pandemic, we decided that rather than arrest offenders, we would embark on massive sensitisation and that is why you see that the state is doing a lot in that area.

“The major challenge we have with enforcement is that our security operatives are inadequate and stretched. Many of the policemen who should ordinarily be enforcing the restrictions have been transferred to states in the North where we have major security challenges.

“We tried to mitigate this by mobilising our security and safety agencies such as Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps, LASTMA and others to fill in that gap. But you know they don’t carry arms, so their effectiveness is limited.

“I think that it is important for people to take personal responsibility for their safety. The government will do it’s part, but ultimately the people have to protect themselves.”

He disclosed that the presence of yellow buses popularly known as danfo on Lagos roads would soon be a thing of the past, as the government was taking steps to reform the transportation sector in line with global best practices.

Former Commissioner for Transportation, who is now the Executive Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Apapa Traffic, Dr. Kayode Opeifa, had earlier called on the state government to subsidise public transportation to mitigate the adverse effects of Covid-19 on the economy.

He, therefore, called on the government to improve world and national transport indices by ensuring safe, efficient and reliable air, road and water transportation, urging it to revisit the Presidential Report of 2014 on National Policy on Mass Transit in Nigeria. He also urged the federal government to release and implement report of the review of the Nigeria Automotive Policy of 2014.

The Director, Global Logistics Education of the Kuhne Foundation, Dr. Andre Keier, speaking on “Covid-19 Challenges and Adaptation in Global Logistics and Supply Chains” noted that in the face of the global disruption in logistics and supply chain management around the world, new strategies must be developed to strengthen the industry, adding that with these efforts, “the future supply chain will focus stronger on resilience, digitalization will make supply chain stronger, global sourcing will prevail, although diversification to local/regional options will most likely increase and more LSCM graduates and professionals will be required.”

Also speaking at the Lecture, the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said that the Agency had put safety measures in place to ensure that Lagosians who commute using the waterways were not at risk of contracting the Covid-19 disease.

On her part, Dr. Ogochuckwu Ugboma of the School of Transport and Logistics, Lagos State University in her presentation titled “Staying Safe in Public and Private Transportations in Lagos State” decried the situation where many Lagosians flagrantly disregard guidelines and restrictions put in place by the state government to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the transportation sector.

The 12th LASU Virtual Public Lecture was moderated by the Dean, School of Transportation and Logistics, Prof. S.G Odewunmi with the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun, SAN, as the Chief Host.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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