- Report puts Nigeria’s fatality rate at 33.7%
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government at the weekend lamented the increasing number of rickety vehicles on the state roads, noting that of the 1.2 million vehicles in the state, 240,000 “are not road worthy.”
The state government also cited a recent report that put the rate of fatality on Nigerian roads at 33.7 per cent per 100,000 population, thus making it the highest on the continent.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Ekundayo Mobereola, disclosed this at a news conference he addressed at the state secretariat, Alausa to mark the 2016 bi-annual safety week.
Mobereola addressed the conference alongside Special Adviser on Transportation, Hon. Olarenwaju Elegushi, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Oluseyi Whenu and Chief Executive of Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), Abdul-Hafiz Toriola, among others.
At the conference, the commissioner highlighted the state government’s effort at ensuring security include rehabilitating the roads, improving drivers’ competence, insisting on monitoring of vehicles and promoting attitudinal change among the road users, especially, the drivers.
Of the 45,037 vehicles apprehended in 2015, Mobereola pointed out that 8,012, which constituted 20 per cent, “were not road worthy. This was extended to about 240,000, out of 1.2 million vehicles apprehended in the period under review.”
He lamented that that along with South Africa, Nigeria “has the highest number of fatality rates in Africa. A study shows that Nigeria and South Africa have the highest fatality rates of 33.7 per cent and 31.9 per cent per 100,000 population respectively in Africa.
“It is in this wise that we say safety is not just a government thing. Rather, it is for all citizens. When you maintain a vehicle, you are guaranteeing a life. There are no economic arguments for allowing rickety vehicles just simply because we cannot place premium on any life.”
He pointed out that there “are several health challenges created by emissions from rickety vehicles. They are all respiratory in nature, thus affecting our lungs. Long hours of delay on the roads also affect health. The atmosphere is heating up and carbon emissions contribute greatly to it.”
He therefore assured that the state government “is determined to operate and regulate transportation to ensure safety. We have promoted new initiatives to ensure a public transportation system that will encourage people to leave their vehicles at home and use our public transport.”
The commissioner hinted that government has embarked on the following: One, expansion of vehicle inspection services (VIS) zones across all the local government; computerization of road worthiness certificate; embarking on public advocacy; proper and strict enforcement of road traffic law and strict compliance with driver’s license procedure.
“The week will hold from May 2 to May 8. We will engage with motorists at motor parks, companies with large pool of vehicles, schools and religious houses. Our focus will be to bring people to the realisation that there is need to maintain their vehicles and save lives and properties.”