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Federal Government Frowns at Violence Against FRSC Personnel

The Federal Government has condemned in strongest terms acts of violence perpetrated against personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) by reckless drivers who kill and injure them while on patrol through reckless driving. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Gida Mustapha stated this while declaring open capacity building programme of the United Nations Road Safety Legal Instruments on Traffic Signs and Signals at the CBN Training Institute, Abuja.

According to Boss Mustapha, report of drivers who drive recklessly and hit FRSC personnel on official duties with some being injured or killed in the process is quite disturbing. He called on all concerned to take necessary precautions to put a stop to the dastardly acts. He warns drivers, including government and military drivers to abide by traffic rules and regulations, especially during the Christmas and New Year celebrations to avert avoidable holdups, obstruction and crashes.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation further disclosed that government is aware of the inadequacies of road furniture on the nation’s highways. He however noted that it was to address the observed deficiencies that Nigeria participated in the drafting of the Vienna Convention of 1968 on Road Signs and Signals as well the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

The SGF assured that the Federal Government is committed to the implementation of the conventions which are being worked on by experts for necessary action. He further stated that Nigeria’s demonstration of political will to tackle its road safety challenges is evidenced by the establishment of the FRSC in 1988; approval of the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Document (2016-2020) and inauguration of the National Advisory Council under the chairmanship of the Vice President including increased capacity for the FRSC.

Mustapha restated Federal Government’s commitment to innovative ideas capable of addressing the menace of road traffic crashes in the country with particular reference to the United Nations Decade of Action For Road Safety (2011-2020). He expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to the United Nations for its partnership with the country and the interest it has shown in developing the capacity of the personnel through the training programme.. He called on the participants to take advantage of the training to acquire fresh ideas on traffic signs and signals to make them perform more diligently in enforcement.

In his keynote address, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola spoke extensively on the imperatives of improved funding for the FRSC, noting that such investment is capable of enhancing the capacity of the personnel of the Corps to enforce traffic rules and regulations more efficiently. He added that with increased funding and capacity building of personnel of the Corps, they would be in a better position to respond promptly to victims of road traffic crashes for appropriate medical attention.

The Minister commended FRSC leadership and personnel for demonstrating professionalism and due diligence in performing their duties, saying the regular reports his office receives on the conditions of the nation’s roads has been of tremendous support to the ministry’s activities. He faulted the general insinuation that the entire roads in the country are in bad condition, and that road alone is responsible for fatal crashes that occur in the country, giving instances where fatal crashes occurred on good road network.

Babatunde Fashola enjoined drivers to be watchful always by ensuring that they drive within the speed limits and correct tyre type and gauges. He called on the FRSC to ensure that drivers are certified fit to drive and the process of licensing them is credible to avoid chaos on the road for promotion of safety.

In his brief remark, the United Nations Team Leader, Mr Robert Nowak stated that the training was being organized as part of the United Nations efforts to promote international best practices in the use of traffic signs and signals in various countries of the world. He said this became imperative in view of interdependence of nations and increasing use of the road as a means of transportation of people and goods, noting that Geneva and Vienna Conventions respectively were initiated for nations to embrace international best practices in the use of road signs and signals.

Mr Nowak commended the Nigerian government for demonstrating adequate political will through institutional framework for tackling road safety challenges of the country. He described Nigeria as a strategic country for the success of road safety campaign in Africa, saying the nation’s active participation in road safety campaigns in the country and other African countries is a boost to the UN efforts to make global road networks safer. The team leader called for sustained road safety campaigns in the country, especially on use of helmet by riders of motorcycles in view of its safety elements.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi stated that the capacity development programme was in furtherance of Nigeria’s growing collaboration with the United Nations and other development partners to promote capacity building of personnel of traffic management agencies in the country. He noted that as the lead agency for road safety management and traffic administration in the country, FRSC is saddled with the responsibility of working with various stakeholders for harmonious road safety operations in the country.

He commended the United Nations Commission For Europe, Sustainable Transport Division and government of Nigeria for organizing the important capacity building programme with Nigeria, noting that it would benefit not only the staff of the FRSC, but personnel of State Traffic Management Agencies, Vehicle Inspection Officers and other stakeholders whose harmonious operational strategies with the FRSC could enhance road safety practices in Nigeria.

The Corps Marshal particularly expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his untiring interest in road safety development in Nigeria. He also appreciated the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for the vital role it continues to play towards ensuring that Nigeria takes its pride of place in global road safety campaigns.

The FRSC Boss expressed satisfaction with the level of collaboration between the Corps and the state governments, saying the establishment of the State Traffic Management Agencies by 18 of the 36 states of the federation including the FCT is a positive development that should be encouraged by others for collective efforts against the menace of road traffic crashes in the country.

Oyeyemi congratulated the participants for the opportunity of benefiting from the specialist training and appealed to them to extend the same knowledge to others who were not in attendance.

The three day capacity building programme attracted participants from the FRSC, State Traffic Management Agencies, Vehicle Inspection Officers; stakeholders in Ministries, Departments and Agencies including members of the Armed Forces, Police and other paramilitary agencies. Lectures scheduled to be delivered in the course of the programme cover various topics on traffic signs and signals by experts drawn from the United Nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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