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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Lagos Govt. engages residents on rail tracks safety, others

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As a measure to prevent loss of lives and property around Lagos railway lines, the State Government has counselled residents on the need to understand risks around the transport system, in order to avert disasters attached to it.

It said that though the mode of transportation remains the most secure and cost-effective within the multimodal transport system especially in a megacity, but it is not devoid of its own safety considerations which the residents must prioritize often.

The state government through its Safety Commission (LSC) in conjunction with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), counselled residents following inauguration of the Blue and Red rail lines to reduce travel time across the state.

Educating Lagosians at a railway safety sensitization workshop themed, “Safe By Design: Building a Culture of Railway Safety in Lagos, the Director General, LSC, Lanre Mojola, stated that like all other mode of transportation, the rail has its hazards and Lagosians must stay away from the facilities to avoid disasters.

He said, “Across all facets of the railway system—be it tracks, level crossings, overpasses, underpasses, train cabins or stations—we encounter risks that demand our unwavering attention. These risks include train collisions with pedestrians and vehicles, fire incidents, falls from heights, electrocution, train derailments and entrapments, among others.

“In alignment with the commission’s mandate to preserve lives by preventing accidents, we have convened this workshop to sensitize the public, particularly our host communities, on effective strategies to avoid these hazards and mitigate their impact. Our seasoned railway experts and safety professionals will deliver relevant safety topics, carefully selected to underscore the importance of imbibing a culture of safety within this sector.”

Mojola implored community leaders, local government chairpersons, railway transport operators, and regulators to engage attentively with the presentations at the workshop to be able to further sensitize fellow citizens and collectively ensure safety in railway transportation across the state.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Sesan Ogundeko, pointed out that the ministry is entrusted with the vital task of ensuring the safety of lives and property across all sectors that drive socio-economic activity in the state.

He said the state government is irrevocably committed to the safety of its citizens, saying, “That’s why, in preparation for the upcoming Red Line Rail and the continued operation of the Blue Line, we’ve organized this crucial railway safety sensitization.

“This workshop serves a critical purpose: to educate the public and commuters about the occupational safety and health risks associated with railway systems. By familiarizing yourselves with the safety protocols at stations, level crossings, and on-board trains, we can cultivate a collective awareness that safeguards everyone.”

The managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) Engineer Abimbola Akinajo who was represented by the agency’s Director on Rail, Olasunkanmi Okusaga, said that everything around rail operations revolve around safety.

According to her, from the level of designing , construction and regulation of rail operations which centres on mass movement of people is all about safety.

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