When people cannot find an easy solution to a problem, they throw their hands up in the air and walk away.
Parents who get tired of telling their children how to do certain chores, and do not have the patience to teach them step by step, end up shouting and losing their temper.
Teachers who cannot explain properly a concept to students struggling to grasp it, end up throwing things, some even resort to flogging the students when they do not pass the tests. We see this when schools punish students for not following rules and yet no one has taken the time to explain or teach them how to navigate.
Now the Lagos state government has joined the bandwagon; they have shown that they have given up. They have thrown in the towel and taken their ball away. They do not want to play anymore.
They have decided to ban okadas and kekes (for the uninitiated: motorcycles and moto-tricycles), from many Lagos roads in order to improve traffic.
I have to ask do you all live in this Lagos? Do you commute in traffic or just in convoys with armed police clearing your way?
The cause of traffic in Lagos is manifold. Let me help you out.
Not enough roads.
Lack of road signs
Lack of road markings
Non functioning traffic lights
Poorly trained Traffic wardens
Poorly trained road users.
Fixing one of this will not solve the problem. You need a holistic approach.
What if you decided to put on an 18 month campaign of radio jingles, posters, social media to pass the messages to educate road users?
How about saying Okadas and Kekes would be phased out in 18 months so people who have investments in those vehicles can make alternative plans? That is policy planning that works.
Have 2 messages for 2 months, and change them, so that over the period of 18 months, you can have 18 key road use points disseminated to the populace.
Target them at all road users, and then every 6 months, penalties will be in place for infractions of the messages that have been passed the month passed.
It’s not that complicated. It also gives time for the traffic wardens to learn the rules they need to enforce.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither will Lagos traffic be solved by a ban. Everyone will get tired of it and we will go back to square one.
We know from experience in Nigeria, and everywhere else, that if you take the time to teach, explain, and show, people will learn.
Okadas and kekes, provide a much needed service to the people of Lagos and they generate revenue and employment. They keep this city moving and it’s economy growing.
Do not kill it with a sledge hammer!