National assembly complex
Indications have emerged that the safety bill being promoted by stakeholders in the road transport sector may get to the National Assembly within the first quarter of next year.
Giving the indications recently was a transport and safety consultant, Mr. Patrick Adenusi, while speaking at a seminar, which had as theme, Safety on Nigeria Roads and Economic Development, organised by the Guild of Motoring Correspondents (GMC) in Lagos.
He said concerned by the incessant road accidents on the highways without victims getting compensation, stakeholders in the transport sector had concluded plans to send a draft of the safety bill to the National Assembly in order to ensure that victims of road accident are duly compensated and rewarded after road accidents.
Adenusi said that most road accidents are caused by human errors, climate change, engineering defects and poor maintenance. He however said that the safety bill would assist Nigerians to adjust to safety culture and allow the public and private sectors to take responsibility for road accidents on the nation’s highways.
“Our people are not well-informed during accident emergency. We have already known the poor state of our roads and until our government start paying proper attention to this. Because life is cheaper in Nigeria, our government is not concerned about what happens to victims on our roads.
“But if the government, the transport companies, vehicle owners or bus drivers are compelled by the law to start paying compensation to victims of road accidents, then I believe things will start working well in this country,” he said.
Adenusi, who delivered the lead paper at the occasion, said despite the rate at which people were being killed or injured on the road, the three tiers of government have failed to take responsibility for the deplorable condition of the roads.
He disclosed that the non-chalant attitude of the government to the victims of road accidents was the reason considered before sending the draft of the safety bill to the National Assembly.
He lamented that a recent survey showed that out of 192 countries with worst roads accident in the world, Nigeria occupied 191st position, adding that the country’s roads were in a very bad situation and needed to be rehabilitated.
According to Adenusi, the time has come for the government to place values on people’s lives, lamenting that “if there is any plane crash in any country, the world’s attention diverts to the country where the plane crash occurred, but not so in road traffic accidents.”
Adenusi stated further: “We know that the roads in Nigeria are in poor shape. It’s been found out that out of 192 countries that have the worst road accident record in the world, Nigeria is the second to the last.
“We are 191 on the list of countries with worst road accident record. Road accident is a growing world endemic. Officially, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) says the country is contributing 14 people to the world death on a daily basis. Every 30 seconds, somebody is being killed on the world roads, not just in Nigeria alone.
“But the world as a whole is extremely unfair to road users because, when a plan crashes, the world is at attention. You will see the media beaming their satellite to cover the crash.
“For example, if 100 people die in a plane crash, the media will talk about it for two weeks; even reporting how a panel committee is set up to investigate the cause of the plane crash. Good money is spent to find out how and what led to that crash. Meanwhile, on a daily basis, about 3,000 lives are being cut short on the world roads.”