The Lagos State Government has commenced the release of impounded vehicles to their owners free of charge in order to ameliorate the effect of the cash crunch.
Although this is coming a few days to the governorship election, the government said it is part of the palliatives the state government rolled out three weeks ago in the heat of the naira redesign policy which resulted in scarcity of naira notes.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu rolled out the palliatives.
Lagos is known for its strict traffic enforcement and usually impounded vehicles were forfeited after securing court judgement.
Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, in an interview on Tuesday said the governor had extended the palliative measures by ensuring that vehicles impounded for minor traffic offences were returned to their owners with the fines waved.
He however clarified that the waiver only covers minor offences.
He said, “When you look at what the governor proposed, especially during the cash crunch period, we have reduced public transport fare by 50%. So when you go on our BRTs and all the Lagos state funded public transport, including Lag Ride, we have reduced the fare by 50% just to alleviate the suffering of our people.
“Apart from that, moving away from transport, we have opened up food banks in certain areas. So we’re beginning to give out palliative just to ensure that people get through this cash crunch period.
“We’re happy that APC has won at the national level. And we are beginning to see some of these policies being reversed. So we’re hoping that in a short time, life would return back to normal but in terms of public transport, I think we’ve reduced fare by 50%.”
“There are some people that committed offences during that period and we understand the fact that money wasn’t easy to come by. Looking at the governor’s magnanimity, the governor has deemed it fit to ensure that people who committed crimes within that period and wanted to pay or couldn’t pay as a result of the shortage of cash, they should come and pick up their cars and he has waved the fines.
“Mind you, that does not include major crimes committed. These are just minor traffic offences that have been committed in Lagos and this is showing empathy and trying to understand that look, we understand how difficult it has been and it is not a reason for us to stop you from making ends meet and so hence the governor’s magnanimity.”
The commissioner stated that “all those who have committed crime within that period should come and pick up their cars, that doesn’t mean people should continue to offend and so right now, what we are doing is to caution them not to commit the offence again.
“After the cash crunch is over we arrest, What we are doing right now educating people, like correcting them to just making sure that they don’t commit an offence again, but obviously if you commit a major crime, the law has to take his course.”