Director-General, National Automative Council, Mr. Aminu Jalal
The National Automotive Council (NAC) has advocated the imposition of an eight-year age limit on used commercial vehicles being imported into the country.
Director-General, National Automative Council, Mr. Aminu Jalal, who advocated this said it would reduce the number of rickety vehicles currently being imported into the country, thus stemming the rate of accidents resulting from such vehicles.
In a statement obtained last week, Jalal made the remarks in Lagos while delivering a paper at a seminar, which had as theme, Safety on Nigerian Roads and Economic Development.
The NAC boss said developing nations, including Nigeria, was losing heavily in human and material resources to road crashes, amounting to $100bn annually.
“Lack of age limit on the importation of commercial vehicles is resulting in the influx of old vehicles that are difficult to maintain, which frequently break down on our roads, causing (avoidable) accidents,” he noted.
He, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure that the roads are always in good condition through prompt maintenance; provision of legible and adequate road signs; taking adequate measures to stop reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Jalal therefore recommended a number of other measures to minimise road accidents such as training and re-training of drivers on the Highway Code and responsible defensive driving.
“Drivers should rest for at least 15 minutes after every four hours of driving and do not drive for more than 10 hours in every 24 hours; maintain your vehicles using the manufacturer’s recommendations and ensure the use of genuine spare parts, especially tyres,” he said.
He also enjoined the people to buy vehicles with safety features such as airbags, antilock brake system and electronic stability programme.
“Join the road safety campaigns organised by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and others, including the United Nations Decade of Action on road safety,” he said.
The NAC boss expressed the concern of the agency about road safety, which prompted it to have taken some actions such as the establishment of 108 vehicle safety standards with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other stakeholders in 2010-2012.
NAC, he said, was also establishing test centres in three locations in the country to check vehicles’ safety parts and undertake vehicle homologation.
He said that the council was also involved in the up-to-date training of local automotive mechanics through the development of new curriculum and teaching manuals for the trade tests 3, 2 and 1.
According to him, NAC has developed a handbook on guide to proper selection and safety use of motor vehicle tyres in conjunction with SON and Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
“Road safety affects all of us, we should endeavour to assist in its promotion in any way we can,” he said.