Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has inaugurated the National Road Safety Advisory Council which he also chairs.
The council was inaugurated yesterday at the Council Chamber, State House, Aso Rock, shortly before the commencement of the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC).
The committee members included six state governors drawn from each of the six geopolitical zones of the country; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal; and some ministers.
The governors who are members of the council are Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) for the South West; Willie Obiano (Anambra) for South-east; Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) for South-south; Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) for North-central; Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe) for North-east; and Ahmed El-Rufai (Kaduna) for North-west.
The ministers who are members of the council are the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Budget and National Planning Minister, Udo Udoma, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, Minister for the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola as well as the Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire.
Dankwabo who spoke on behalf of the members said the council would deliver on its mandate.
Speaking to State House correspondents, the FRSC’s Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, said the inauguration was in line with the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
He commended the federal government for equipping the corps with N3 billion worth of vehicles and life-saving ambulances, saying Nigeria’s road safety would be at par with global standards.
He said: “The Decade of Action for Road Safety has five pillars, first is for each member state to set up a road safety management institution and to prepare a strategic document for the country. Why we are second behind Ghana in Africa is because this document has not been ratified by the government and the present government has deemed it fit to approve it after preparation.
“The essence of this is that road safety issues have been taken finally to the highest level in the country with the vice-president presiding over the National Road Safety Advisory Council and the six governors representing the six geo-political zones and all the ministries and agencies that have imputs in road safety and the local government.
“It shows that the government at all levels have really demonstrated openly the commitment towards enhancing the safety of lives and property on the highways.
“Since the advent of this administration it has invested over N3 billion alone on logistics for the corps. Last year witnessed the largest procurement of vehicles and ambulances and with this we will start seeing the improvement and personal commitment of top government officials towards enhancing road safety in the country.
“Like the name implies, it is to advise the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the NEC on ways to improve on road safety management in the country and we commend Mr. President and Mr. Vice President for this open declaration of their support for road safety in Nigeria.”
On whether this would reduce road accidents in the country, the Corps Marshal said “Government’s pronouncement gives about 50 per cent result already. This an ample demonstration that government is fully committed to road safety, safety of lives and property in the country.
“This is also to ensure that the roads, health institutions, all conform to global standard not only crashes but that our hospitals must have drugs, trauma centres must be up and running, advance life-support ambulances. It shows that government will be able to inject more funds and this will translate to more discipline on the high ways, inter-agency cooperation will be more enhanced no more barriers and with vice-president giving instructions everyone will comply. We have never had this so good,” he said.