FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka
By Sunday Okobi
Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria has enhanced its social responsibility drive by collaborating with other agencies to reduce the rate of death caused by road accident in the country.
The agencies include the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Police Force Traffic department, and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), among others.
The collaborative effort was further strengthened in Lagos when SPDC organised a Road Safety Risk Management workshop for the concerned agencies in order to achieve accident free country or to some extent, reduce the menace.
World Health Organisation Statistics show that road traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death by injury globally. It is the tenth leading cause of all deaths and the ninth leading contributor to the burden of disease. The highest total mortality rate from road accident comes from the African continent.
And it was with this revelation that SPDC sought to find a solution by training those in charge of safety of lives on the road through seminars and workshops.
During the workshop organised for Western Nigeria and Abuja, sections, the SPDC Managing Director, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, said time had come for all hands to be on deck to curb this epidemic and save the lives lost needlessly in this nation. He advocated a shift from ad-hoc road safety activities to developing and implementing sustainable programmes that would ensure safety of lives.
Sunmonu, represented by SPDC General Manager, Planning and Performance Management, Mrs. Beatrice Spaine, said, “This requires meeting certain conditions, such as having a critical mass of competent road safety personnel, making road safety a priority at all levels, making sure funding is available to implement programmes and ensuring efficient planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of road safety programmes/activities.
“International organisations such as the World Bank and the WHO recognise these are viable solutions and have seen fit to recommend road safety capacity building for effective road safety management.
“Road safety is one of our main focus areas in our drive to improve the culture of safety within our operations, because we know all too well the risks and the importance of road safety management in our operations,” Sunmonu stressed,
He added, “We are also externally focused because we do not operate in isolation. That is why we are supporting the Federal, states and local governments in their efforts to fight this menace.”
The Shell boss reiterated the company’s commitment to support the implementation of the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety Action Plan in Nigeria, through seminars, workshops other initiatives like the Child Road Safety Education Programmes
“This workshop is therefore part of a national programme which commenced with a development workshop for five Niger Delta States in 2011. Similar workshops are planned for road safety practitioners throughout the country. SPDC believes this will enable effective regulatory enforcement, which is essential for road safety management,” he said.
Sunmonu called for a continuous education and capacity building with various agencies to support the collaborative approach to road safety management and also develop positive attitude towards traffic management skills.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka, in his address, said the training programme was a positive move as it was in line with the commission’s corporate strategic goal of capacity building towards efficient service delivery to the motoring public.
Commending the organisers for the initiative, he described SPDC as a “responsible corporate citizen,” and as part of its social responsibility, has remained a strategic partner in the quest for ensuring safer roads and fuller lives.
“I wish to acknowledge the exemplary membership of Shell Corporation and their strategic contributions to the Nigeria Read Safety Partnership,” he said.
Chidoka, represented by the deputy Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, maintained that the FRSC had articulated how to manage the estimated 40 million vehicles that would be plying the roads of a prosperous and transformed Nigeria.
He added that with Shell playing a bigger role in the safety business, “our gathering here will further reinforce the capacity of FRSC’s staff in attaining her corporate goals.”
Also commenting, the Lagos State Police Traffic Officer, CSP Mrs. Margret Ekpe, said their roles which are to protect lives and educate drivers and passengers, had been boosted with what they learnt at the workshop, saying “it is a good development and we hope to sustain the partnership to continue to save the lives of our people.”