In a nine-month timeframe, a total of 12 state governments in Nigeria faced penalties amounting to N2.1 billion due to violations of traffic regulations, as reported by Open Nigerian States—a budgIT-supported website specializing in government budget data.
Notably, Lagos State, the nation’s commercial hub, emerged with the highest count of traffic offenders, resulting in the state accumulating N1.9 billion in fines throughout the reviewed period.
Osun state followed with N32.4 million, trailed by Oyo (N27.4 million), Ogun (N20.5 million), Plateau (N14.6 million), Delta (N9.1 million), Niger (N7.9 million), Cross-Rivers (N3.6 million), Enugu (N2.7 million), Kogi (N1.8 million), and Adamawa (N0.987 million).
The prevalence of fines in Lagos, is unsurprising, mainly owing to its dense population. Lagos is the most populous state in Nigeria, which is also the most populous country in Africa.
As contained in the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018, first-time offenders caught driving without a valid driver’s license face a fine of N20,000. For subsequent violations, the penalty includes either a N20,000 fine or an additional penalty of vehicle impoundment.
Disobeying traffic control personnel attracts N20,000 for a first-time offender, while subsequent offenders pay a fine of N30,000 and an additional penalty for the vehicle being impounded or going for (Lagos State Drivers’ Institute) LASDRI Training.
Failure to pay a penalty fee within the prescribed time attracts double the initial penalty.
In an earlier report, a study conducted by the Danne Institute for Research revealed that Lagos loses N4 trillion annually due to traffic congestion.
It also identifies behavioural factors as the primary culprits, including poor road infrastructure, activities of agberos at bus stops, buses picking up passengers, and violation of traffic laws.
The report revealed that Lagosians spend an average of 2.21 hours commuting daily, with 45 per cent spending more than two hours.