Before her appointment last year, Mrs Lape Kilanko, General Manager, Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency(MVAA) had worked in various capacities in many Lagos State Ministries, parastatals and agencies with an experience which span two decade.
She is an astute administrator with membership of many professional bodies. In this interview with Motoring World, Lagos Bureau Chief, Rotimi Asher, she beamed lights on activities of her agency as well as ongoing rebranding efforts towards moving the outfit to the next level.
Your agency, Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, has the mandate of sustainable policy direction on motor vehicle documentation and other related matters for Lagos State. You were appointed by Governor Olusola Babajide Sanwo-Olu last year as the General Manager, what is happening in Motor Vehicle Administration Agency now?
We are trying to achieve our mandate. That is what we are doing right now. In Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, we are reaching out to get the numbering of vehicles. We are in charge of numbering of vehicles, driver’s license and learning permits. We also register automobile spare parts and auto mags. We are trying to fulfill our mandate and in the process of doing it, we want to build a robust data base for the state government. Without any data base, no government can engage in proper planning. Though, there is a data base, we have to improve and update what is on ground.
What innovations have you brought into motor administration in the state since your appointment?
We are rebranding the agency for better performance and it is coming in different form. We are improving on our services even our staff in term of capacity building. We are rebranding the way we present our plates. Our plate is going to be in a different form. We are putting it in a pouch now. It has to be different from what other states are doing. Our plate number is going to be in a pouch. The vehicle license is also going to be in a pouch.
In the pouch, you will have information about the transport family which include Motor Vehicle Administration Agency(MVAA), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority(LASTMA), Vehicle Inspection Service and Ministry of Transportation. Of course, in that pouch, we are going to have the list of our stations and every other thing about the transport family. You will also have government projects in the pouch. In the same pouch, you will have the date of the last time you serviced your vehicle including when you change your oil. You will have a card inside it that is like a reminder. It is coming out very soon. That is part of the rebranding we are doing.
Apart from that, you are going to see new Vehicle Administration Agency offices: Our staff, offices, infrastructures and every other thing that will not only give us a new outlook but also improve our services.
Will the pouch only give information about the transport family and other things you mentioned earlier or is there any other essence of the pouch?
We want to make the presentation of our plate unique and different from other states. And again for those who print fake plates, it is no longer going to be business as usual. The pouch will be very unique and difficult to counterfeit. It will minimize the printing of fake plate.
The pouch is going to be the size of the plate number. The pouch is protective and will reduce the activities of fake plate printers. In the pouch, you will have information about the transportation family.
The pouch will also create an identity for our number plate. Of course, if anybody says, this is Lagos State plate number, once it is not in a pouch, you will know it is fake. This is the first time a plate number is put in a pouch in Nigeria.
Do you perform a similar role with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)? Is your agency duplicating their function?
It is true that Road Safety is also producing number plates. We are producing plate number for Lagos State. Lagos State is the only state in Nigeria that is producing vehicle plate numbers. Road Safety produces for other states while Lagos print its own, but we do collaboration with FRSC. We are partners in the production of driving license. We start the process and end it, Road Safety do the biometric for the applicants. We take the information after doing all the processes. We go to VIS; then they end up with Road Safety. So, we are not duplicating each other duty. We are just collaborating. We are partners.
They are one of the enforcement agencies for us. We do not go out to enforce or catch people without driver’s license. It is Road Safety and VIS that do the enforcement for us. You can see that we work together.
What collaboration do you have with VIS?
VIS is an agency of Lagos State government. It is part of the transport family. They have the power like Road Safety to carry out enforcement. We work with them.
How many departments do you have in the agency?
We have four operational. We have Administration and Human Resources, Finance and Account department, Planning and project, Dealer’s dept., Licensing and Records, Control and Registration. They all have different function to perform. We have Monitoring and Internal Control, a kind of police for the agency. They go out to check what the stations are doing. We also have other statutory units apart from the departments like the unit coordinating this arrangement, the Public Affairs. There are other units like the Audit unit, ICT, Procurement and Planning. In all, we have seven departments and five statutory units.
We understand some of your staff in local government offices and other stations do frustrate due process by encouraging the public to cut corners and charging more money for driver’s license. What is your take on this?
As a result of accommodation problem, Local Government and LCDA gave us accommodation and we have mandated our stations there that price list should be pasted where the public can see. Please, don’t forget that we have our services being done by proxy. And of course, most people will not like to come to the station. Your proxy will not give you the exact price. He will add his own profit to it. I don’t have control over that.
If you choose not to come over to the station and send a representative, he will put his cost for rendering you a service. There have been directives that our stations must place banners of price list of our products so that people can see them. That is how far we can control our prices.
What other future plans have you for the agency in coming years?
In the next few years, I don’t know if I will be here. I am just the GM now; it may please the present administration to take me to another place. While I am here, my plan is to take the agency to the next level higher than where I met it. The rebranding is part of the future plan to move the agency forward. We are improving the environment where our staff works, give them the necessary tools to work with and making sure our services are seamless and timely. That is the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. As for long time plan, I don’t know. I can be moved tomorrow to another place.
Can you give a little bit of your background?
What else can I say? I am Lape Kilanko. I am from Lagos State. I have worked in so many MDAs. From Ministry of Information, I came here. I have worked in Ministry of Housing, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Audit Service Commission, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Lagos State Water Corporation. I have gone round. I have spent twenty years in the service.
You are so busy. How do you unwind? Do you have time for leisure?
When there is party, I attend. That is one way I unwind or I stay at home with my family.
Are you a car freak? What kind of car do you drive?
I am not anything freak even food and fashion. No car is special to me. As far as it is four by four wheel and it is comfortable, I will drive it.
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