By Bennett Oghifo
For the first time, the Federal Government has injected 183 vehicles into the fleet of the Federal Road Safety Corps for use in its operations.
At the launch of the vehicles by President Muhamadu Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, the Corps Marshal, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, said it was another milestone in the history of the FRSC that symbolised “the sustained intent of the Federal Government to raise the bar on road safety management and collective dedication to the task of exploring innovative and resourceful ways of funding the road safety intervention in the road sector.”
The commissioning inauguration of 283 operations vehicles, he said should remind everyone of the capital intensive nature of road safety business.
“It is a thing of great joy that FRSC has by the injection of this state of the art operations vehicles been retooled for improved performance.
“It is on record that road safety has been at the heart of this administration. This passion was visibly exhibited when Mr. President, upon assumption of office as President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, approved the introduction of the use of speed limiting devices in the country. Mr. President, while giving the approval, considering stakeholder’s interest, had in his magnanimity extended the period for the commencement of enforcement, of motorist’s compliance from the initial date proposed by the FRSC and the Transport Unions.”
He said the president’s approval of the installation of the speed limiting device policy was borne out of genuine passion to reduce speed induced road traffic crashes across the country, adding that the president “has also been unequivocal in his concern about some of the recent preventable crashes and the need for collective actions,” the FRSC boss said.
The Corps Marshal said the recent Presidential directive that all convoy drivers be trained and certified by the FRSC was one sure way the president expressed his commitment in this regard. “This is in addition to another presidential directive that all federal government drivers be retrained by the Corps. Presently the Corps has commenced directing the training programme aimed at preventing road traffic crashes involving convoys and government drivers.”
He stated that the modest achievements of FRSC over the years were the result of “dedication and personal sacrifice of its personnel, consolidated by the affirmative support from successive Nigerian governments.
“The current administration of President Muhammad Buhari has however been exceptionally supportive of the Corps,” Oyeyemi added.
The 283 newly acquired operations vehicles, he said signified “just one of the several ways the administration has demonstrated its avowed commitment to the welfare of its citizens, especially in the areas of Road Safety and general security across the country.
“This commendable action of government will no doubt, increase Corps’ presence and renew our effectiveness throughout the entire country. I wish to recall that the last time the Corps’ fleet was renewed by the federal government was in 2010 when 100 patrol vehicles were injected into the Corps’ fleet,” he said.
He put on record that the government has also facilitated the development of a National Road Safety Strategy document with the recent endorsement of the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy document by the National Economic Council (NEC).
According to him, the significance of a Road Safety Strategy was the recognition that road safety is multi – faceted with outlined responsibilities of the various tiers of governments and NGOs. The document seeks to harmonise the different road safety efforts by envisioning a country where road traffic crashes result in no death.
He said globally, the task of managing motorisation and road transportation is often fraught with daunting challenges. While Africa is noted to have suffered the greatest burden from the consequences of road transportation, the peculiarities of the Nigerian socio-political environment appear to make the Accomplishment of this task even more difficult.
He said, “In Nigeria, virtually every family has been affected directly or indirectly by the consequences of Road Traffic Crashes (RTC).
“Our determination in this regard cannot and will not in the least be compromised because the lives of our citizens, using these roads is vital to our socio-economic renewal and indeed national transformation.
“I therefore enjoin every road user to take responsibility for his or her personal safety and avoid other distractive tendencies while using the highways. You are advised to comply with road traffic regulations, and avoid road rage contest situations and other road traffic infractions.”