LASG Cancels Official Number Plates, Orders Re-issuance

  •  Bans council officials from traffic enforcement

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Lagos State Government tuesday cancelled all official number plates currently in use as a result of gross abuse and directed the re-issuance of new official number plates to all government-owned vehicles.

The state government also banned all officials of 20 local government areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) from controlling or engaging in traffic duties in the state.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Anofiu Elegushi, issued the order at a news conference he addressed at the state secretariat, Alausa tuesday, noting that there had been so much complaint about council officials involved in traffic enforcement and management.

Elegushi acknowledged that there are traffic units in all 57 LGAs and LCDAs, but traffic enforcement and management “is not a responsibility for the third tier of government.

“We have reported instances of illegal arrest, extortion and general impunity on the part of the local government operatives. It is then appropriate to disband all the units and outfits parading as local government traffic units.
“This has been communicated to all these agencies. For the avoidance of doubt, officials of the ministry will start monitoring and any infraction will be dealt with in full compliance with the law.

“Let me also reiterate that only the Nigerian Police, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Taskforce on Special Offences and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) can perform traffic duties,” Elegushi said.

He urged Lagos residents to report any such illegal activities to the Ministry of Transportation charged with the responsibility to ensure zero tolerance for illegal traffic duties, adding that there had never been a time government considered ceding its responsibilities to any other tier of government.

On the number plates, Elegushi said government had now deemed it necessary to carry out a review so as to ensure better identification of government vehicles and end the era of abuse of the official number plates and its negative consequences on security.

He said government had realised that some of the current official number plates in circulation, were issued to vehicles different from the one which they were now found, decrying that even persons who were not in government now had vehicles bearing official number plates.

“This is neither tenable nor acceptable. As such, the Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the cancellation and retrieval of all such official number plates and the re-registration of all government owned vehicles.

“For a while now, government has become aware of the challenges of such official number plate being randomly available to persons who should not ordinarily have access to them. We are aware that some retired public servants (political office holders and civil servants) did not return official number plate attached to vehicles they were using while in office.

“However, the number plates remain government property. Some others have brazenly removed them from vehicles kept with mechanics. All of these constitute a security challenge that must be addressed. In consideration of this, a new regime of official number plates will come on stream and by the end of the first quarter enforcement will commence,” he said.

Elegushi explained that under the new arrangement, official number plate would no longer be transferable as it would be specific to vehicles, adding that both security numbers and the official numbers would now be paired and reflected in the vehicle particulars/licences.