SO I went on a field trip with the rest of my ‘transport economics‘ class about a month ago. We went to lagos to “see” some of the things we had been learning about in theory in practice. We planned to get to the Sea_port (NPA), NIMASA (the maritime agency), the Air_port (FAAN), as well as LAMATA. We also planned to go Oniru beach (the fun part :D) but due to several constraints, most especially the legendary Lagos “hold up”, we were only able to get to just two of those places, NPA & LAMATA. The trip to lamata is what I wanna talk about, it was enlightening as well as inspiring!
Leadership isn’t just about having a fancy post, office, earning a fat salary, giving fancy speeches, having a trophy wife (or in naija, a wife who is legendary on the mic.), for all the perks of office, there are also equal downsides to public office. Leadership is about service, what’s the point of being a leader if after 8years, people only remember you with curses, cos you brought them backward instead of taking them to the next level. A leader is only about as good as his team or “backroom” staff, in fact one of the principal functions of management is staffing.
The Sea_port (NPA) gave the impression of a very rough place to work (it probably is), but its understandable cos of the hands on approach to such a business; In Contrast when we visited the lamata offices, it was very impressive n attractive to those who wanted to specialize in transport economics. the staff were professional looking (even for a friday) n speak well or articulate, they gave the air of people who are accustomed to travelling abroad n interacting with foreigners.
A Comment posted on a very popular Nigerian internet forum suggested that since G.E.J (the naija president) got into power, these are some of the things he has been up to (in case you have been wondering):
campaigning for the next election
winning the election
7yr single tenure presidency
fighting several political enemies
oil subsidy removal
federal university in his village
toll gate erection
controversial sovereign wealth fund
canonization of Hafiz ringim with OFR
It may not be totally true or may not even tell the whole story but you cannot deny that it makes for interesting and thought provoking reading.
On the other hand, LAMATA is just one of the lagos state government’s objectives to help improve the welfare of the citizenry of the state (how I wish power supply in naija was decentralized, maybe fashola would have made it much better).
They believe that by improving the transport system in Lagos, life would be easier for the residents, this is a really laudable plan because an almost perfect transport system will reduce the transport cost of transporting goods and services in the state, this will directly lead to a reduction in price of goods and services in the state, an improved transport will reduce the horrible lagos traffic jam, leading to efficiency of workers, the advent of alternative means of transport will reduce the number of automobiles on lagos roads, this will reduce pressure on the reduce, pollution and even the scourge of area boys. There’ll be less congestion in the lagos metropolis as people will be able to live farther from their places of work since the transportation system is reliable, this will lead to development of other parts of the city as well as reduce congestion/over crowding in the major city centers. An excellent transport system also aids tourism which fetches big bucks in countries in countries such as kenya.
LAMATA which stands for the lagos metropolitan area transport authority plans to revolutionize the transport system and regulate it, it plans to implement an integrated transport system comprising rail (hopefully we’ll get underground trains), road n water.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is already effective n lagosians can attest to how much it has changed their lives, lamata is committed to making sure the roads (and eventually rail n sea) maintain a certain safety level. By 2020 lagosians should be able to enjoy excellent road, rail n sea (ferry) transport services.
lamata is a semi autonomous agency that was created with 2002 with the support of the world bank. It’s backed by an act that was signed into law in 2002 and amended in 2007. The staff regularly embark on training so as to keep up with advancements and innovations in urban transport.
»Countries such as south africa as well as other naija states have come to inquire about how the BRT system is run, the lagos BRT is based on the colombian bus system.
The Dearth of good managers and visionary people has been the bane of Nigeria for years now, if people like
Gov. Fashola, Dr Mabereola (md/ceo lamata) & the rest of the lamata team had a chance, I’m sure the change we’re looking forward to isn’t so far away after all.
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