A Colloquium with the theme, ‘Integrated Transport System As A Lifeline For Economic Development’ was hosted Thursday June 16th by the Ministry of Information and Strategy in conjunction with management of Traffic Radio 96.1FM as part of activities lined up to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the station established on May 29, 2012. Its General Manager, Mr. Tayo Akanle fielded questions from journalists at the end of the event. THOMAS IMONIKHEbrings the excerpts:
Discussions on improving the current traffic situation in Lagos State has been very robust at this Colloquium, what do we expect next?
We will try to leverage on the Close Circuit Cameras that are being installed on major roads, the aim is ensure that live feed on the happenings on the roads are captured and seen directly inside the studio of Traffic Radio through technology. By doing that, we will be able to give more real time traffic information that will be seamless and really help Lagosians to plan more as they proceed on their journeys daily throughout the state.
What is your message to Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA officials who control traffic and to residents?
I urge them as stakeholders to continue doing the selfless service they have been offering to Lagosians because they work for 11 hours a day, they should keep doing that. Apart from LASTMA officials, we also have Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, TRACE personnel of Ogun State, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC officials and even volunteers who are involved in traffic management. They are the ones you should commend especially the volunteers who spend their hard earned money to give information to the station on the traffic situation to disseminate to commuters and motorists.
What do you consider as the greatest challenge facing your radio station?
Funding because if you want to provide more services and expand your areas of coverage you cannot get enough funds to implement it, there is no way that you can raise all the funds you need to execute your expansion programmes. But with Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu standing firmly by us in Traffic Radio, I think we are going to pull a lot of things through and with the coming of more Traffic Cameras we believe that he will assist us so that we can birth these projects that we are embarking upon.
We want you speak to the theme of this colloquium today, ‘Integrated Transport System As A Lifeline For Economic Growth’, why was this topic chosen?
As we all know, there is no economy any where in the world that does not need movement. Indeed transportation is very key, so by coming up with the topic, we thought it through that the sector should be in the front burner and that is how we came up with the topic. Besides, since transportation is very important to our economy, I think discussions between the government and traffic sector players should take place in the course of developing that sector more in Lagos State.
Tell us more about your proposed projects.
One of our major projects is to have more signals in the nooks and crannies of Lagos State, that is very crucial to us because with time we will get there. We want listeners to receive our signals from all parts of Lagos, and we are pushing even harder to ensure that we accomplish this task. We believe that such feat will help Lagosians commuting between Badagry and Lagos Island; from Ikorodu or Epe to Lagos Island plan their journeys better. In other words if we have our signals all over Lagos, commuters will be very happy with the radio station because they will use the information at their disposal to take crucial decisions on their movements and this will help them as they run their businesses.