This report outlines efforts by the Lagos State Government to address the myriad of public transport and traffic management problems arising from an absence of a coordinated framework for managing transport sector problems in a city of around 15 million inhabitants. With over 100 agencies, ministries and local government departments at local, state and federal government levels that have a role in transport provision and/or services in Lagos, often developing and implementing policies and programs in isolation and without much regard to their effects on the policies or activities of other agencies operating in the city, the end result is poor service delivery for the city residents.
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) was therefore created in 2003 to provide an overall vision and a strategic planning basis for addressing the long neglected transport needs of the metropolis and to coordinate the activities of the different executing agencies to provide a common and consistent basis for implementation. The setting up of LAMATA signaled the State Government’s intention to re-orientate the way in which transport services were managed and implemented.
The study outlines LAMATA goals and objectives, its organizational structure, key activities challenges and issues, and lessons learnt. One of the key strengths of the current structure is recognition by LAMATA of the need to engage civil society in validating major infrastructure investments and policy changes. The task of building and sustaining an efficient and effective transportation system in metropolitan Lagos is one that calls for the active involvement of all
stakeholders. Therefore, LAMATA’s approach is to ensure the involvement of all stakeholders through information, consultation and participation on various consultative, interactive and participatory fora.
A number of cities in Sub-Saharan Africa face similar challenges as they attempt to improve the quality of urban transport services. The LAMATA experience suggests one possible approach and provides a framework to discuss alternative approaches suitable to specific country environment.