Stakeholders Demand Bailout for Auto Firms, Safer Roads

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The 2017 Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) forum in Lagos, recently, presented an opportunity for stakeholders to appeal to the federal government to provide bailout for auto firms.

Stakeholders also asked for stricter enforcement of road safety laws to drastically reduce avoidable injuries, loss of lives and properties associated with road accidents.

The special guest of honour, Corps Marshal of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi described road accident as one of the major causes of deaths worldwide.

Oyeyemi, who was represented by the Assistant Corps Marshal and the Zonal Commanding Officer, Lagos and Ogun, Sheu Zaki, challenged motorist and members of the public to contribute to safer road culture by adhering to existing rules.

He explained that FRSC’s response is 15 minutes depending distance, adding that the agency successfully rescued 401,000 accident victims between 2011 and 2016.

Zaki used the opportunity to explain that the price for three years duration driver’s licence remains N6,350.

He said: “The official rate of driver’s  licence as set by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) is N6,350. People should endeavour to fight for their rights.”

Speaking in a similar vein, road safety expert and founder, Safety Beyond Borders, Patrick Adelusi, called for more resources to support FRSC activities.

He also used the opportunity to advise FRSC and other relevant agencies to partner Nigeria Postal Services as part of measures to ease challenges associated with drivers licence renewal in the country.

He said: “There is no need to go to FRSC for licence renewal. Since the data is with them, applicants should pay and fill relevant information online. On its part, FRSC should send the processed licence through NIPOST.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University, Prof  Diji Aina, in his paper on Political Economy of Automotive Crisis, emphasised the need to give adequate priority to the sector.

Represented by Director, Academic planning of Caleb University, Dr.  O. Ayorinde, Prof.  Diji called on the Federal Government to grant bailout to auto assembly plant in the country.

Also speaking at the event, Coscharis Group General Manager in charge of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Abiona Babarinde, said the company was delighted to be part of the annual even now in its second edition.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of NAJA, Frank Kintum and Chairman, organising Committee, Mike Ochonma commended stakeholders for their participations and support.

According to them, the annual training is designed to encourage capacity building and continuous learning among journalists.