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Why Sanwo-olu’s HOS Sacked VIS’ Boss Gbolahun Toriola

Officials of the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, VIS are displeased over the removal and redeployment of the head of the agency, Mr. Gbolahun Toriola.

In line with the executive order by former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, demanding that VIS officers engage the use of technology to check vehicle papers and apprehend offenders, else they vacate the roads, where they cause unnecessary gridlock which constitutes unnecessary hardship to residents, record has it that the VIS under the leadership of Toriola introduced the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology for the verification of prescribed particulars. Also, a robust database management system such as autoreg.com, lagroute.org, where detailed information of the owner can be obtained without necessarily stopping the Vehicle through the integration of the technology of the relevant agencies data bases were made available.

It is also important to point out that it is on record that the VIS increased its revenue generation from N175.8 million to N2.24 billion between 2007 and 2018.

Laudable achievements which are brilliantly driven by technology such as the introduction of e-testing for drivers licence applicants, introduction of magnetic optical/ Autovin technology for pre–registration inspection and the introduction of ANPR technology for the enforcement of traffic rules and regulation, among several other achievements of the VIS were recorded under the leadership of Toriola.

Investigations hasn’t revealed any act of misconduct that warrants the undue redeployment of Toriola, however, sources made known that trouble started for Toriola when he removed one Animashaun and then redeployed to Oke-Odo, from being head of Coker-Aguda VIS over alleged sharp practices.

We gathered that the said officer allegedly given to bad practices is the brother of Gbolahan Animashaun in the Deputy Governor’s office. After the swearing in of Governor Sanwo-Olu, Animashaun was said to have lobbied the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola for redeployment out of Oke-Odo. Sources in government said the HOS ordered that Animashaun be brought back to his former posting without investigating why he was redeployed in the first place. Animashaun was redeployed to Coker Aguda as Zonal Head on the request of the HOS in order to allow peace reign.

Our findings revealed that some of the other sins that resulted to the untimely removal of Toriola had to do with GOKADA. Our reporters learnt that since the operation of GOKADA was contrary to the Lagos Road Traffic law barring them from plying some 475 roads such as expressways, bridges and others, operators were said to have lobbied the HOS having invested so much in the business.

THE HOS met with insistence by Toriola stating that allowing them is against the traffic law; this incurred the rage of the HOS who will rather be challenged.

A recent circular by the Head of Service, showed that Toriola had been redeployed to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. Officials of the VIS who are still hoping to have their experienced boss are dumbfounded that the HOS will redeploy a VIS boss to a ministry that has nothing to do with transportation.

Is it that the Lagos State HOS is unaware that the VIS is on a special cadre and that officers of the agency are not redeployed to other agencies due to their specified expertise in vehicle services, save for when they attain the position of Permanent Secretary. After much protest, the HOS further redeployed Toriola from Ministry of Works to the administrative department, Ministry of Transportation. Since his redeployment, VIS officers have resumed to the road constituting huge nuisance with the old and archaic method of operation.

A recent visit to the VIS office shows that Toriola has been replaced with Akin Fashola who joined the civil service in 2015 as an Assistant Director on grade level 15.

Though he was posted to the VIS in 2017, he was not employed on VIS cadre and is not a cadre officer, according to our investigation. Two years later, he has been made the head of the VIS. Sources have it that Fashola is a cousin of Hakeem Muri-OkunOla.

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