The Lagos State Government recently ordered its Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) off the roads, to the relief of many vehicle owners in the state. The withdrawal order followed incessant complaints from the general public about the overzealous and disturbing activities of the VIOs.
We commend Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his cabinet for their prompt response to the cries of Lagosians on this matter. This is how things should be, if our democracy is to be seen as working well. Government and its agencies exist for the benefit of the people. When particular agencies become a clog in the wheel of progress in the state as has become the case with the VIOs, such agencies should be done away with.
Although the government has said that the withdrawal will be temporary, since it is only to afford the VIOs more training to acquaint them with modern trends in vehicle inspection, many Lagosians would probably wish they be permanently taken off the roads. There should be better ways of doing vehicle inspections without the VIOs constituting a nuisance on the roads like they presently do.
Truth be told, VIOs have become a veritable menace on Lagos roads. They are brazen and, sometimes, uncouth, in their approach to drivers. They are also inconsiderate of road users and road safety, as they stop vehicles right on the roads to do their stop-and-search. This defeats the very purpose of their presence on the roads.
Whatever government gets by way of internally generated revenue from their activities, there is no doubt that their attitude in the discharge of their responsibilities defeats the purpose of governance, which is to offer service to the people, before any other consideration.
They are also not averse to extorting road users with impunity, and have scant regard for their core mandate of seeing to the general roadworthiness of vehicles. When these vehicle inspectors stop vehicles, they not only check the state of the windscreens, lights, tyres and brakes, they sometimes go beyond their mandate to ask to see vehicle licences and tax certificates. The fact that a motorist has just been checked and cleared by one set of VIOs would not save him/her from being stopped for another round of checking by other sets of the ubiquitous VIOs along the same route.
read more @:the sun news