Governors Recommit to Campaign against Road Accidents

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Gov. Ugwuanyi and Boboye Oyeyemi (right)

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Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has stepped up the sensitisation campaign against road accidents involving petroleum tankers by visiting state governments to solicit their help to stop it

| By Sanni Abdullahi |

IN the aftermath of the recent road traffic crashes involving petroleum tankers, which claimed multitude of lives and destroyed valuable property in parts of the country, Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, not only organised a national summit on haulage operations, but took a step further by taking the campaign to some state governors across the country. Kicking off from Sokoto state, where he visited Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Saad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, he attended the national executive committee meeting of the Petroleum Tanker Driver union, PTD, which took place in the state and made a presentation.

At the Government House Sokoto, the Corps Marshal commended Governor Tambuwal for his pro-road safety stance as demonstrated through his creation of the Committee on Road Safety when he was the speaker of the House of Representatives. He also expressed appreciation to the state government for its support to the FRSC, assuring the governor of his commitment to the campaign to make the state roads safer.

Responding, the Governor commended the FRSC leadership for its prompt response to the challenges posed by the petroleum tanker crashes as evidenced by the immediate actions it took to restore safety in the operations of haulage vehicles in the country. Tambuwal, however, charged FRSC to initiate measures that could deal decisively with the menace of overloading in the state, expressing the commitment of the state government to the efforts.

From the North West, the Corps Marshal and his entourage headed to Enugu state, where he was received by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the Government House Enugu. While commending Enugu state government for its support to the FRSC, especially in the area of facilitating the establishment of the FRSC Academy at Udi, Oyeyemi called for sustained collaboration with the state in the campaign against road traffic crashes. He also pointed out that even though no tanker crash has been recorded in the state within the year, there was the need to sustain the partnership to ensure preventive measures.

On the chaotic traffic situation at the 9th mile, the Corps Marshal disclosed that FRSC had carried out a technical study of the area called for partnership in the efforts to restore normalcy in the area, adding that the state government should consider establishment of more driver’s licence centres to take care of the increasing need of the people of the state for genuine licences.

From Enugu, the Corps Marshal headed to Asaba, the Delta state capital, where he and his entourage were received by Kinsley Otuaro, deputy governor who is also a lawyer, on behalf of the governor who was away in Abuja. The Corps Marshal, in his remarks, thanked the state government for its logistics support to the FRSC, especially during the ember months special patrol in managing the perennial traffic gridlock at the Niger Bridge, Onitsha, pledging even more efforts this year.

While expressing concern with the level of damage caused by the petroleum tanker crashes which occurred at Onitsha in Anambra state, Idimu and Iyana Ipaja in Lagos state and other parts of the country, Oyeyemi called for joint efforts to prevent reoccurrence. According to him, it was unprecedented that sixteen tanker crashes were recorded within a spate of two weeks claiming over 60 lives with many vehicles and houses getting destroyed in the inferno.

The Corps Marshal stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to avert such future incidents, saying that training and retraining of the tanker drivers has been identified as one measure that could help in averting the menace.

The deputy governor in his response, commended the Corps Marshal for the sincere commitment he is showing to saving lives through involvement of relevant stakeholders in the campaigns. He expressed the support of the state government to the renewed campaign to make the roads safer, adding that spreading prosperity was one of the cardinal points of the electoral promises made by the present administration, which he said, would remain elusive without safety and security.

The next leg of the campaign tour was Benin, the Edo state capital, where the deputy governor, Pius Ogberaruwen Odubu received the team on behalf of the state governor, who was away in Abuja. In his remarks, Corps Marshal Oyeyemi, commended the Edo state government for its exemplary conduct in managing traffic situations in the state,, especially for setting up a functional motor vehicle administration which has been vibrant in creating efficiency in the licensing system.

Oyeyemi recalled that even though the state has not recorded any tanker crashes since the year, the existence of a petroleum depot and increasing volume of traffic has made the need for joint efforts between the state and the FRSC in averting tanker and other crashes imperative. He called for sustained collaboration between the state and the Corps, stressing that road safety is a collective responsibility of relevant stakeholders. The Corps Marshal further emphasised that part of the measures taken to curtail tanker crashes in the country which the tanker drivers’ union is self-enforcing, was the directive that as from September 1, 2015, it is only tankers with installed speed limiters that would be allowed to load petroleum products, stressing that the measure could drastically reduce tanker crashes in the country.

Pius Odubu, deputy governor, gave commendation to the FRSC for its contributions to the socio-economic development of the state, emphasising that the staff’s commitment to duty is quite impressive. According to him, attitudinal change and resuscitation of driving school culture would go a long way in creating sanity on the roads.

In addition, he called for adequate funding for the FRSC operations, pointing out that without sufficient funds to procure the necessary equipment and carrying out elaborate campaigns, the prospect of successful road safety campaigns in the country could be jepoardised. The Deputy Governor pledged the support of the state government to the ideals of road safety and the task of creating good road culture as being propelled by the FRSC.

Highlights of the visits were issues of building the capacity of the Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs, by the state governments; training and retraining of drivers, especially, convoy drivers and installation of speed limiters in vehicles to control speed, which accounts for about 50.8 percent of the causes of road traffic crashes in the country.

At the end of the campaign tours, Oyeyemi expressed satisfaction with the commitment shown by the state governors to the campaign against road carnage in the country, especially crashes involving tankers. “The assurances of collaboration given by the state governors during my visits is a positive indication that we are on course, and that the ongoing efforts will yield positive results through full restoration of safety on our roads,” he stated.

Sani Abdullahi, Superintendent Route Commander, is the media assistant to Corps Marshal, FRSC National Headquarters, Abuja

— Jul 6, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT

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