In this the new year, Nigerians, especially Lagosians will remember 2020 by the defining events that changed the landscape of the state. Nothing drives home this truth more like the #ENDSARS protests that metamorphosed from a peaceful demonstration to an unprecedented looting, burning and vandalization of private and public infrastructure and properties. It is equally on record that LACVIS, as an organisation, had its fair share of looting, burning and vandalisation of three of its facilities namely Ojodu, Oko-Afo and Ibeju Lekki Test Centres
While we sober up and reflect on the true meaning of these protests, it is equally important to weigh in on the actions of the young men and women, who took to the streets, chanting mantra for change and seeking accountability from their political leaders. According to Wikipedia, Nigeria’s youths comprises of 33, 652, 424 members, making them one of the largest populations of youth in the world. This makes Nigeria rich with a stable supply of smart, enterprising and audacious change agents capable of setting the world’s attention on issues that are critical to the development of the country. In Lagos, it is said that 77 people move into the state per hour which makes the state one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
We could hope for a moment where our youths would also channel considerable energy to advocate for road safety causes including how to mitigate against climate change, air pollution and road accidents which are mostly caused by driving defective vehicles on the highways. The logic of this is simple. In the decades ahead, these millennials will experience the hardships caused by weak enforcement policies, insistence on instant gratification -by boycotting safety processes for documents renewal and sheer negligence of going through the demands of certification especially for driving.
What then should we expect from them? A great way to start is by seeking elected public office holders support in addressing these issues. In Nigeria, for example, the public service space is gradually warming to the idea of a generation that has a united voice in demanding for detailed progress reports on issues they consider germane. It is time they lent their supports through correspondence or meetings( virtual and physical) to drive public discourse on road safety issues, to help them bear the burdens of the coming decades.
For us at LACVIS, we are particular about empowering our youths, which make up more than 90% of our workforce, to speak up for the good of the state. We are especially proud of them as they take decisive actions that promote the computerized vehicle inspections across the state. Many of them have adopted solo advocacy programs to reach many residents that are yet to be aware of our services. For them, to #sorosoke is to create a future where government is much willing to enforce regulations that will prevent exhaust- emitting, brakes deficient and poor lightning system vehicles from plying the roads. This indeed will be a war won against self- indulgence and a hope of having safe vehicles on the roads.
Let me use this space to introduce Anthony and Alausa test centres as recent addition to the LACVIS family. This is in addition to the mobile test centre which will take the inspection facilities closer to the people.
I wish you a safe new year.