Among the 36 states in Nigeria, Lagos is one of the most relevant economically and socially. The several economic opportunities abound in the city create jobs for people. Unless you are lazy, there is always something for you to do. With a high population, there is a market for businesses to thrive.
Are you selling something? There are people to buy if your product or service is good and has a competitive price. But there is one thing that everyone dislikes Lagos for – traffic. The heavy traffic in Lagos is a spoiler for all the goodness it offers. A lot of people have vowed never to live in the commercial hub because they do not want to spend all day in traffic like others.
Well, the traffic does not seem to be going away anytime soon. We have to deal with it. In that light, Naijauto brings you a list of people to obey in Lagos traffic:
Even former Lagos governor Ambode was driven mad in Lagos traffic
1. Traffic officials
With so many people on the road, it is understandable why there are many traffic officials on Lagos roads. Different organizations including the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) are situated in different areas to maintain law and order on the road.
While there have been reports about misconduct by some of these officials, it is not an excuse for you to disobey them. You need to understand that they were employed by the government at different levels to ensure sanity on the road. Do not try to get in the way of their job. If you do that, you will give them the opportunity to ruin your day. Obey traffic rules, and relate with them respectfully.
Although the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is an arm of the Nigeria Police Force, they get a stand-alone mention because of their presence and impact in the society. Unless you live under a rock, you must have heard of several terrible stories involving some of these officials. They are infamous for their brutality.
Thanks to social media, victims of SARS officials are able to share their terrible encounters with the world. In a bid to clampdown Yahoo Boys, they see every young man in the country as a suspect, and treat them like criminals without any conviction.
Free-moving traffic like this in Lagos is a relief
If you are a young man, you have to be very careful when you come across SARS on the road. First, you must ensure that you are not into anything illegal. Otherwise, they will catch you for it. If your hands are clean, talk to them with respect when they ask you questions. They are fond of checking people’s phone. It has been stated severally by the Nigeria Police Force that officers are not authorized to go through people’s phones on the road because it is a private instrument. Remind them of this, politely, if they demand your phone.
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3. Army officials
Although you do not find officials of the Nigerian Army on the road all the time, they are situated in certain areas for security reasons. Army officials are not known to intimidate motorists like SARS, but they can be very brutal if dared. Do not try to be stubborn at checkpoints mounted by soldiers.
One thing that often gets motorists into trouble with the Army is the use of their phone at checkpoints. It is not advisable to use your phone at checkpoints. Put it aside, and allow them to do their job. You will be there for just a few minutes, give them your full attention, so they can let you go immediately. A seemingly little offence of using your phone can make them unleash terror on you, ruining your entire day.
4. NURTW officials
The National Union of Road Transport Workers is a body recognized in the country for checking the activities of commercial transport workers in the country. It helps the government to keep the activities of these workers in check. And if any of their members behave unruly, he/she is brought to order.
Static traffic is an opportunity for hawkers to sell their products
NURTW members are not traffic officials. They have no business coordinating traffic on Lagos roads. However, you might come across them in some areas. As much as you are not obligated to listen to them, you should pay attention when it is obvious that they are trying to help.
In situations of traffic gridlock, NURTW officials rise up to the occasion to create free flow of movement if there are no traffic officials around. Do not make things more difficult by proving stubborn.
Driving in Lagos is a survival of the fittest. If there are no traffic officials on the road, the chaos could lead to loss of lives and destruction of properties. Always remember that traffic officials are on the road to help you. Make their job easier by being cooperative.