The Enugu State Government has commenced a one-month training for over 150 persons to be recruited as Traffic Enforcement Bureau officials to ensure a decent and effective management of traffic rules and regulations in the state.
Declaring the training open, the state’s commissioner for transport, Mr. Vitus Okechi, who was accompanied by his counterpart from the Labour Ministry, Mr. Emeke Okeke, noted that the programme was meant to create a new image for the bureau that would guarantee a refined and robust traffic management system to ensure safe transportation in the state as well as reduce traffic congestion being experienced in some areas.
Mr. Okechi explained that following public outcry, the state Executive Council had through the intervention of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, suspended the activities of the traffic enforcement officials under the ministry of transport and directed the ministry to organize proper training for the officials to enable them discharge their functions professionally and to the satisfaction of the public.
He added that the first session of the training, which is physical and medical fitness, was being handled by military personnel, while the second session of lecture series will be undertaken by personnel of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO).
The Commissioner stated that the training programme became imperative in view of the need to restore traffic discipline among road users within and outside Enugu metropolis, regretting that most motorists have taken advantage of the ban on the operation of the traffic enforcement personnel, to abuse traffic rules and regulations in the state.
“We, as a responsible government, regret the untoward act of flagrant abuse of traffic rules and regulations by road users in Enugu State and the serious threat it has posed to security of lives and property of the people. Hence, we have embarked on this training programme to restore traffic discipline and reduce road accidents as well as avoid traffic obstruction in the state”, Mr Okechi said.
It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi, in response to the persistent complaints from the public over the activities of some people purporting to be working as traffic wardens cum revenue collectors for the State Ministries of Transport and Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority as well as three Local Government Councils in Enugu Metropolis, ordered an indefinite suspension of the collection of fines for traffic offences in the state.
The governor stated that “I cannot sit down here as governor of the state and watch the people being asked to pay such a huge amount of money (N25,000.00) as fine for disobeying traffic rules.”
He equally warned road users against the abuse of traffic rules and regulations in the state because of the ban order, a warning which the commissioner regretted was not eventually heeded to by motorists.