By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
All is set for the 10th Anniversary celebration of the foremost Traffic Radio in Africa, Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1 Fm with the theme: ‘Celebrating 10 Years of Traffic Reportage-Gaining Momentum for the Future’.
Its General Manager, Mr. Tayo Akanle, described the LTR 10th Anniversary as a milestone in the dissemination of traffic reportage and travel advisory to millions of residents in Lagos, the centre of aquatic splendour.
Mr.Akanle noted that a week-long of activities has been lined up to celebrate the anniversary, geared towards showcasing the station’s journey so far and the zeal and passion to serve Lagosians beyond reasonable doubt.
According to the General Manager, the anniversary is scheduled to take place from Monday, 23 to Sunday, 29 May, 2022. Highlights of the anniversary include an Advocacy Walk on Monday, May 23, 2022, a Colloquium with the theme: “Integrated Transport System As A Lifeline for Economic Growth” scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at D’ Podium International Event Centre, Aromire, Ikeja, Lagos,which will bring together top government functionaries, transport experts, industry-watchers, aviation specialists, etc, to deliberate on solutions for a viable transportation system in Nigeria.
”The Colloquium has been carefully put together to highlight the outstanding contribution of this noble broadcast outfit in traffic reportage in a decade of its existence.
Special Guest of Honour at this Colloquium is Mr Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu. Leading the discourse at this event is Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), Hon. Minister for Works and Housing, who coincidentally, is the visioner of the station,” he said.
Mr. Akanle also listed the Panel of Speakers to include, former Commissioner for Transport Lagos State, Professor Bamidele Badejo; Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority LAMATA, Engineer Abimbola Akinajo; National President, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport CILT and former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Admiinistration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Barrister Nfon Usoro and the Chairman Air peace Airlines, Mr. Allen Onyeama.
According to him, the week will be rounded off with a Gala and Award Night, with the governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, as the Special Guest of Honour.
“The weeklong felicitation has been carefully designed to reflect on this decade long adventure through a terrain that has never been charted before now by any media organisation and a glance into boundless opportunities that lie ahead in the foreseeable future. Lagos Traffic Radio is a specialised radio station, designed to address the chaotic traffic situation within Lagos and address issues woven around Transportation, Safety and Security.”
“Until the birth of Lagos Traffic Radio, nothing, not even years of living here adequately ever prepared motorists for a complete standstill in the middle of the road. In the past, people could doze off and wake up 30 minutes later still on the same spot they previously were with no clue as to the cause of the gridlock. Lagos Traffic Radio (96. 1 Fm) established on May 29th, 2012 during the administration of Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN was designed by technocrats and transportation experts to provide solutions to the perennial gridlock faced by motorists within the Lagos metropolis.”
Mr. Akanle said the station from inception, has been working with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, whose officers collate the information about traffic, while the station uses the power of radio to communicate to the public, who in turn, use such information to plan their journeys accordingly.
In addition, the work of the LASTMA officers is complimented by officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC, TRACE Monitors in Ogun state and motorists who also supply traffic information using the eyewitness report strategy.
The General Manager stated that the Station also explored new vistas of opportunities in a bid to expand the horizon for her teeming followers by giving Live Reports from the Waterways to encourage Lagos residents to embrace Water Transportation to further decongest the roads. The Station partnered with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, to give Train schedules in preparation for the commencement of the Blue and Red Lines Lagos State Government Rail project.
Akanle hinted that the Station gives update on Flight schedules for local travellers to plan their journey, as well as Shipping Position on the number of Ships berthing at the Ports.
The Station’s Motorbike LiveReporters also give on the spot reports from incident scenes.
He said these developments have been introduced to provide qualitative service to the teeming audience. He noted that the Station’s reach was initially within Lagos metropolis, but has extended its coverage areas to Badagry, Ogun State and Ibadan, respectively.
“All these innovations are strategic moves aimed at fulfilling its mandate of effective traffic reportage and travel advisory to Lagosians; and by implication, contributing to the first pillar of Governor Sanwo-olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, which is Traffic and transportation.”
“Today, one thing that is very clear is that Lagos Traffic Radio is optimally responding to the challenges of traffic management in the State by effectively communicating traffic information to the people. With the radio, commuters and motorists are empowered with the needed information about the roads within the different axis of Lagos at any point in time and do not have to doze off and wake up minutes later again where there exist alternative routes,” he said.
The station also expanded its online audience base by leveraging Technology, especially the New Media. The Stations New media platforms were re-invigorated and re-energised through the application of tried–and-tested social media strategies and home-grown initiatives.
This greatly provided the much-needed leap in the followers on these platforms as shown below: Social Media; Facebook (2019- 4,000 Likes, 2020- 70,000 Likes). Twitter (2019- 15,000 Followers, 2020- 50,000 Followers).
Terrestrial daily listening audience in 2022 is about two million from 800, 000 in previous years.
A YouTube Channel was created to enable our listeners who might have missed a particular episode of any of our flagship programmes catch up while viewing it.
During the year under review, the live video streaming platforms of the station such as Face book live, and official website were created to explore and take advantage of their online opportunities which ultimately led to more online audience and engagement. This, which is in line with modern trend in radio broadcasting, has provided a new experience for the online audience, making the station more visible as it has connected with more people.
The online traction generated through these deliberate moves gave the station a new stronger online presence translating into achieving a wider reach and engagement for government information.