Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Thursday expressed deep concern over the arbitrary use of sirens by convoys of public office holders in the country.
Addressing participants at the National Council on Transportation meeting in Lagos, the governor described the practice as an abuse of office.
Fashola said it was wrong for public officials to constitute themselves into a nuisance with their movements, saying it amounted to terrorising the people who elected them.
He said: “Let us get rid of all these sirens.
“We use this thing around all the time as if we are in a perpetual state of emergency.
“From the day I became governor, I have not used sirens and I don’t intend to use it because I detest noise.
“I have told my (state) commissioners that they will be sacked if they do it.
“People elect us as their leaders to manage public transport on their behalf and we (now) choose to escape from it with the arbitrary use of sirens.
“I think the practice is an abdication of duty.”
Fashola urged Nigerian leaders to always set good examples for their followers by conducting themselves in acceptable ways at all times.
The governor canvassed the rapid development of the nation’s transportation sector to enable it play its pivotal role in the economy.
He urged the federal and state governments to involve the private sector in the public transportation system to give more life to the system.
Fashola said the country’s growing population had necessitated an inter-modal transportation system to facilitate movement of people from one place to another.
“The state government has evolved modern transportation solutions, such as the Bus Rapid Transit system to ensure easy movement of residents,” he said.
The governor called on the Federal Government to enact legislation to check activities of illegal operators in the transportation industry.
“Illegal operations of vessels, buses and others pose threats to the development of the sector,” he said.
Earlier, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, had said the Federal Government was irrevocably committed to the transformation of the transport sector.
“Government is aggressively pursuing efforts aimed at repositioning the sector to move the economy forward,” he said.
The theme of the meeting was: “Transformation of transport infrastructure: A catalyst for socio-economic growth.”
The meeting was attended by delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.