At least, I,000 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA and the Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, have so far undergone career evaluation training to prepare for better and efficient traffic management.

The 200 LASTMA and KAI officers in the fifth batch were inducted for a four-week training programme at the Public Service Staff Development Centre, PSSDC, Magodo, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on Monday.

Eight hundred LASTMA and KAI officers, in four batches had earlier been trained under the programme. The training which involves aerobics, class work, community service relations, visit to orphanages, field reports to Mile 12, Ojota, Ladipo, Apongbon and Obalende areas of the state and report presentation.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Transport Education, Dr. Mariam Masha explained that the training was in furtherance of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s desire to promote law and order in the state.

She said the government intended to achieve this by continuously improving the quality of personnel in its enforcement agencies and maintaining a professional status by instituting training programmes that were practical, effective and consistent with international best practices.

“The key objective of the programme was to equip participants with a better approach to law enforcement which places premium on advocacy to change the way people behave, and the attitude of the people demands that we train our law enforcement agents to respond to challenges in line with global standard. The government will continue to invest in training of its law enforcement officials by building their capacity to achieve their statutory responsibilities.

“The emphasis of the law enforcement agents is advocacy and enlightenment. The feedback from the field has been that of voluntary compliance as it is better to voluntarily respect laws than being forced to adhere to regulations with the use of force. Government appreciates the difficult, yet important position of law enforcement officers in their efforts to promote law and order,” she stated.

According to her, “we will continue to invest in manpower and build capacity of our officials. We will always found one or two infractions but there are channels now for people to raise issues, either to complain or commend. The avenue is a good way to contribute and improve the capacity. We won’t relent. “We will continue to train them, build their capacity. If people have observed very well, through the community service the previous batches have done, the approach being taken now is that of advocacy and enlightenment. It goes a long way in effecting positive attitudinal change instead of forcing people to ensure compliance,” Masha stated.

On the feedback of the 800 personnel already trained, she disclosed that there is high level of compliance in Ojota, one of the sites of the field assignments as people now use the pedestrian bridge instead of the great risk of crossing the highway.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga