Babatunde Tonode, a traffic officer with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) was over the weekend presented with a ‘Diamond Service Award’ along with a cheque of N75,000 for exceptional service to the motoring public in Lagos.
The award ceremony, put together by Unifeed Project Initiative (UPI) in conjunction with Access Bank Plc. was to appreciate workers, particularly uniformed personnel.
The Lead Sponsor of Unifeed Project Initiative, Mojibade Sosanya said the vision for the initiative was born out of passion she witnessed in April, 2021 when she saw LASTMA officers and other uniformed personnel on a very sunny day managing and controlling traffic across Lagos irrespective of the heat.
She stated that LASTMA officials had also rescued her when her vehicle broke down at night in a place where she could have easily been robbed.
According to her, “LASTMA officers were like angels sent to help me when I could have gotten robbed when my car broke down at night. They assisted me to push my car to a distant place beyond the danger zone. This led to the thought of appreciating uniformed men for their dedication and commitments.”
She said among other uniformed personnel picked for public consideration, Tonode emerged first with the highest number of votes to win the award.
The General Manager of LASTMA was represented at the event by Mr Adebayo Taofiq, Director of Public Affairs and Enlightenment and Mr Mabifa Oluwatosin, (LASTMA Zonal Head).
Adebayo disclosed that despite the risk associated with controlling and managing traffic, this would be the second time in a space of few weeks that officers of the agency would be recognised, appreciated and rewarded for being dedicated to work.
He acknowledged the award as a well-deserved one, saying that traffic management across the State is becoming technologically driven with the distribution of new 500 Traffic Management Solution (TMS) handheld devices to LASTMA personnel by the present government.
Adebayo disclosed further that physical contact with traffic violators would be drastically reduced during traffic enforcement as these newly deployed ‘TMS’ hand-held cameras would ensure transparency by capturing real-time video/photograph of violations as evidence to be presented before the court.
Also speaking at the event, the Unit Head, Strategic Communication, Events and Sponsorship of Access Bank Plc, Oge Kasie-Nwachukwu said that it was not difficult latching on to the initiative as part of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) that would encourage other uniformed personnel to do more in serving the public.
In his remarks, Tonode, thanked the organisers for the award in recognition of his service to the public.
He also expressed his appreciation to the management of LASTMA for creating a conducive environment for its officers.
Tonode also promised to be more dedicated to duties.