Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku
An inter-ministerial committee on the evolution of a New National Road Safety Policy for 2012 to 2016 was Wednesday established by the Federal Government in order to enhance the management and control of accidents on roads across the country.
This was the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, which also had in attendance the ministers of works, health, interior and the Corps Marshall of the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Osita Chidoka, among others.
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, who briefed State House correspondents, after the meeting said despite the fact that government was devoted to controlling roads accident, through the deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in detecting and preventing road accidents, there was still the need to enhance its achievements in the sector in order to meet the United Nations standards on roads safety and conform to the recommendations of a World Bank review of the sector.
Maku explained that although Nigeria had earned global commendation in the way it manages the sector, it still needed to overhaul its policy due to the number of people lost to accidents almost on daily basis.
“As a result, the FRSC has come up with a national strategy that will span 2012 to 2016 to develop institutions to cope with the problem with road safety,” Maku said.
The minister said a greater synergy between FRSC and the ministries of health, interior and works, was needed to take advantage of ongoing reforms in the roads sector.
The strategy proposals that the inter-ministerial council set up to study the would look into the new policy, according to the minister, include training for drivers, issues of licenses provision.
The World Bank review of the sector began in 2012, with a visit by the Integrated Transport Planners from the United Kingdom, which it contracted to examine Nigeria’s road safety management capacity. Part of the job of the consultants were to analyse road safety management capacity, prepare a long-term plan for achieving this and identify the appropriate technical assistance required to assist in the delivery of the necessary improvements.
Subsequently, the World Bank sent another team of consultants to conduct a capacity review of the FRSC’s road safety policing role. It also hired a Transport Specialist, Per Mathiasen, to undertake a fact finding mission and to collate relevant data/information through interaction, from the FRSC and other strategic partners in road safety for the preparation of a documentary/presentation on road safety activities in Nigeria.
However, there were conflicting information on the statistics of road accidents victims in the country as the National Union of Roads Transport Workers (NURTW), FRSC and the World Health Organisation (WHO) give different records.
The figures of death as a result of road accidents annually according to the three organisations are: 8,672, 5,000 and 32,000 by NURTW, FRSC and the WHO respectively.
It was, therefore, expected to submit its report to FEC upon completion of its assignment.