The Lagos State Government has inaugurated a Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Committee to drive the existing Non-Motorised Transport Policy (NMTP) towards a conducive and enabling environment for walking and cycling.
Speaking at the Inauguration of the Committee, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, Commissioner for Transportation, posited that the Non-Motorised Transport Policy adopted in October 2017 will address the dangerous and poorly planned interaction between pedestrians and motorised vehicles in Lagos State.
He stressed that the urgent prioritisation of NMT will curb the complex social economic and environmental challenges including traffic congestion, urban sprawl and pollution caused by the rapid urbanisation of Lagos State over the past few decades.
Oladeinde also revealed that the State Government will be guided by contemporary street design management principles that support safe, active and ample space for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport for efficient movement of people and goods, in line with the vision of an inclusive city for all.
The Transport Commissioner also explained that the critical role of NMT needed to be factored into road infrastructure investments, as investing in NMT road infrastructure will lead to massive benefits including reduced emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, added with the protection of vulnerable road users from speeding motor vehicles.
He further assured that the potential of NMT as an efficient and cost-effective transport system will essentially connect people to daily life activities in Lagos, as a large percentage of the population either walk or cycle, hence NMT policies will provide essential services for the majority of the people.
Oladeinde opined that the policy will make walking and cycling more attractive as the necessary transport infrastructure such as sidewalks and cycle lanes will be created to encourage affordable clean urban transport systems and further decongest the road.
The Transport Commissioner affirmed that the State Government will convene regular meetings of the Non-Motorized Transport Committee to review proposed NMT designs, guide implementation and monitor performance over time. The regular meetings will also enable the Committee to reverse the unacceptable state of affairs to create an enabling long-term physical and regulatory environment conducive for walking and cycling in the State.
Some of the newly inaugurated 39 NMT Committee and Sub-Committee who were basically drawn from the Public, Private establishments and other stakeholders in the transport sector includes; representative of the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) (as the Chairperson), representative of LAMATA (Secretary), representative of Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) Transportation Committee, and representatives of Ministry of Works & Infrastructure (MOW&I), Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPP&UD) with Ministry of Environment (MOE).
Others are; representatives from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget (MEPB), Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (MLG&CA), Ministry of Education (MED), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Information and Strategy (MI&S), Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (MWA&PA) and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).
Representatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Lagos State Police Command, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos Sector Command, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Non-government or community organisations, Private Sector representatives, LGAs/LCDAs and external consultants/experts/academia are also members of the Committee.