Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC, speaks exclusively to the Realnews team immediately after the meeting he had with the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria about the implementation of the FRSC on Tuesday, February 16, at Total House in Lagos. He tells how Nigeria is now importing speed limiters from Kenya which it trained on road safety in 1992, stressing that there will not be any more shift in the April 1, deadline on presidential directive to enforce speed limiters in the country to prevent road accidents. Excerpts
Realnews: What was the major thrust of the meeting with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN?
Oyeyemi: It has to do with the implementation of the speed limiting device to get MOMAN as one of the key organisations involved in oil marketing to comply. And we have seen that before the presidential directive MOMAN was already ahead of the implementation of the safe to road programme of MOMAN. And with this we want them to update their data of all what they have done before and continue with the verifications including licensing and paper registration of all their vehicles so that when the enforcement will starts from 1st of April it will be much easier to check because the drivers are not suppose to know where these devices are loaded in their vehicles.
Realnews: Why are you focusing on MOMAN?
Oyeyemi: We have engaged the independent marketers but MOMAN is an organised sector and they have gone ahead before the presidential directive. So it’s for them to just key-in all what they have done to upload the data to the official porter for the speed limiting device. So this a good meeting and I believe we will be able to sustain our training personnel programme to facilitate the verification on these key issues.
Realnews: What makes you think that installing the speed limit would limit tankers accident on the roads giving that some of these drivers might not really be speeding and still the accidents happen?
Oyeyemi: From last year result, 36.5 percent of the causes of accident are speed related. And if we can eliminate this we will lose about 16 percent. I believe we are on course and we just need to cut down the speed. Speed accounts for the major causes of the crashes we are having. So it’s every important we bring it down. Look at the organised transport sector like the ABC Transport, Peace Mass Transit and Young Shell Grow Transport. ABC has not recorded any crash or crashes in the last six years because all the vehicles are fitted with speed limiting device. And once we can do this for the country, it is a national project so we need to cut down the speed and preserve lives on our roads.
Realnews: Are you reaching out to National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW?
Oyeyemi: Those are the key stakeholders, they are complying already. I’m satisfied with the present level of implementation. And with time it will get to all the key stakeholders before the end of this month. While the final one will be maybe for final enlightenment on this and then we will commence the enforcement. There is no going back again. We can’t go back to the president to shift the date, so we must comply.
Realnews: So the takeoff date has to be April?
Oyeyemi: There is no going back again.
Realnews: What of private drivers?
Oyeyemi: That would be later.
Realnews: So they don’t pose much danger?
Oyeyemi: You see we need a phase approach to get some of these things done. We cannot carry everybody at the same time. We are talking about 8.5 to 9 million vehicles. We must have a phase approach. Which vehicles are causing more crashes? It’s the commercial vehicles because commercial buses will load at least 14 to 16 passengers, while the private can carry just the driver and the owner. So when you look at the degree and the severity so you need to focus more on the commercials. And one thing the Nigerian Automotive and Designers Development Council has done was that they gave ultimatum to the local vehicle manufacturers to make sure that the vehicles that are coming out from this year are fitted with speed limiting device. So that is the success story.
And in addition to that the Standard Organisation of Nigeria is expected to have given directive to importers. So the only thing we have to do is to address the vehicles on the road, the once coming in would be complied with and I think we have to get it right and move on.
Realnews: What advice do you have for the drivers and the stakeholders in the industry?
Oyeyemi: We need their support to move on in the country because other African countries have implemented this. There is success story in Kenya. We trained Kenyans in 1992, but the majority of the speed-limiting devices we are installing are imported from Kenya. I was the one that led the team in that training in Kenya in 1992. Now Nigerians are going back to Kenya because from the global report Kenya is the only African country mentioned that have successfully implemented the speed limiting device administration. So we need to get it right and Mr. President is very keen on this that we must look forward.
— Feb 29, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT