Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has offered permanent employment to 3,311 operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Kick against Indiscipline (KAI), thus putting paid to the ad hoc arrangement, which he said, had been in place since their establishment more than a decade ago.
The governor consequently, declared zero tolerance to a culture of extortion and indiscipline in the ranks of LASTMA and KAI officials, noting that the state government would not give them any second chance if they infringe their ethnics.
Fashola disclosed this at the Teslim Balogun Stadium while formally unveiling the Lagos State Law Enforcement Institute, which was created to regulate the activities of LASTMA and KAI as well as train their officials.
At the unveiling also, the governor gave three traffic management volunteers namely Mr. Anthony Edewor, Mr. Salisu Adamu, and Mr. Salisu Audu conditional employment offers for making input to control traffic in different parts of the state.
He, therefore, explained the rationale of the reform, which he said, had been ongoing in the last two years, noting that the reform was tailored to redevelop and furnish all the thirty offices where LASTMA and KAI officials “are working in difficult conditions.”
He said the state government “is already rebuilding. We are already refurnishing. We are also re-equipping all the offices. I am told that the first four offices are ready and another batch of four will be ready. Instead of being ad hoc staff, you are now full-fledged public servants of the state.
“Your work will entitle you all the benefits that the permanent staff members enjoy including pension rights. It will entitle you to pension rights under our contributory pension scheme. For LASTMA and KAI, we have created a new cadre of employment in the Lagos State Public Service. We have the legal cadre. We have the architect cadre.
“We have the teaching cadre. We have the administration cadre. We have created the law enforcement cadre for you alone. What is the heart of this reform? The reform is to reward service and punish deviant behaviour. There are few people who give bad name. We will not relent in fishing them out and bringing them to justice.”
Also, the governor gave an update about a LASTMA official, Mr. Ekundayo Kazeem Michael, who was caught on videotape while negotiating bribe, acknowledging that he had asked the State Police Command to declare him wanted.
According to him, “the officer, who was caught on videotape seeking to extort money, was at large. I asked the Commissioner of Police to declare him wanted. The commissioner has reported to me that the ministerial disciplinary procedure has started today. His case file is being compiled. We fish out any such bad eggs.”
In her address, Senior Special Assistant on Transport Education, Dr. Mariam Masha, explained how the governor proposed institutionalising standards and trainings for all State Law Enforcement Officers concerned with transport and traffic management, environmental sanitation and neighbourhood security beginning with a mandatory career evaluation training programme (CETP) for all in-service officers.
According to the special assistant, it is expected that adequately trained officers will enhance the efficiency of accomplishing the goals of law enforcement work as well as provide for improved community/officer relations.
He added that the evaluation programme, which began with LASTMA and KAI, was intended “to determine suitability and ability of each personnel for the assigned job, achieve appropriate re-orientation and professionalism of the officers and equip officers with the requisite skills for their assigned tasks.”