BENIN CITY – Governor Godwin Obaseki has been commended for establishing a professional traffic control agency which apart from making Edo State great again, is a thing of pride, in the Southern region of Nigeria.
Making this assertion shortly after being bestowed with an “Award of Excellence,” during the Edo State Traffic Control and Management Agency’s (EDSTMA) end of year party and parade which held at the EDSTMA Head office on January 2, 2022, Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi, a Benin based legal practitioner and advocate of social Justice praised EDSTMA for being a viable traffic agency whose display of professionalism has helped to restore faith and respect in the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s led administration.
He appreciated and commended the agency and its officers for their stellar performance during the yuletide celebration where they had to work late into the night for ease of vehicular movement which helped to reduce road rage and incidents of road traffic crashes within the Benin metropolis.
Managing Director EDSTMA, Dennis Oloriegbe speaking on achievements for year 2021, said, aside from carrying out its basic function, which is traffic management, the agency was able to reduce traffic menace to fifty percent (50%). There was also an expansion of operations to outside Benin, to Auchi, Uromi and Ekpoma.
For 2022, Oloriegbe declared the need to expand to Okada and Owan axis. There is need to expand to the hinterland within the Benin metropolis such as Ugbor zone which comprises “first and second Ugbor zone.”
He revealed that EDSTMA was receiving a tow truck for official use this year which would boost efficiency and professionalism aside easing the stress of going out to borrow a tow truck for use when there is a breakdown.
Avowing that there are already a bucket list of activities for the year, the EDSTMA boss said, “We are starting with the installation of bus-stops haven identified such. We want passengers to be able to identify their bus-stops. This would stop the menace of drivers stopping anyhow on the road.
“Before the end of January, we would start installation. What we are doing now is production. We are coming up with bus-stop road signs with the names of such bus-stops. A driver should be able to call a name to which a passenger responds. Not just stopping at random everywhere. This is one of the basic cause of holdups in Benin.”
Oloriegbe reiterated that the level of sensitization of drivers last year was high with the enactment of traffic transportation policies especially with the Obhakhawaye Central Transport Terminal coming into place. Modalities were put in place to sensitize drivers in that park and other parks on the dangers of driving against traffic (one way traffic violation),
“We built a synergy with the Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, which was strange to drivers. We had to sensitive them that it was just to evaluate the mental health of violators. It is not a punitive measure on all drivers as was erroneously believed. We sensitized them on the fact that drivers should just keep to the laws. If they keep to the law, they would not be harassed or arrested.”
As part of the end of year activities EDSTMA unveiled its maiden anthem. There was a parade display/competition from its twelve zones. The EDSTMA headquarters brigade clinched the first prize closely followed by zones 4 and 6. There were a lot of games which had immediate rewards for winners.
An interesting twist was added to the ceremony when two officers Ode Christiana and Momoh Martins based on public recognition were rewarded with money and a bag of rice each by Olayiwola Afolabi an awardee, to spur them to greater heights, in the discharge of their duties.