The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has assured the nation, especially road travellers of the Commitment of the FRSC to ensuring crash and obstruction-free yuletide, saying with the adequate arrangement already put in place for effective traffic management during the celebrations, he was confident that the road would be safe for all. Oyeyemi gave the assurance while addressing a press conference on the state of preparedness of the FRSC for the forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.
According to the Corps Marshal, this year’s end of year special patrol was planned after the painstaking studies carried out on traffic trends based on the Corps’ past operations, saying massive personnel and logistics have been deployed to the identified areas across the country to ensure effective traffic management and prompt rescue operations. He disclosed that Management staff, Zonal Commanding Officers, Zonal Heads of Operations and other senior officers of the FRSC have equally been deployed to monitor the operations along critical corridors across the country for effective utilisation of the personnel and logistics deployed for the exercise.
While enumerating the operational strategies mapped out for the exercise, the Corps Marshal noted that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has, as usual provided some helicopters for aerial support aimed at monitoring the traffic trends and giving prompt directives from the air for remedial actions capable of ensuring efficiency in the operations. “We have deployed 36,000 of our personnel including members of the Special Marshals for the exercise which involves motorised patrol teams, Power bikes and Tow Trucks along designated corridors,” he stated.
For the convenience of the travellers who might require some assistance as they travel along the roads, the Corps Marshal disclosed that FRSC has created some Special Help Areas in parts of the Country to render such support. These he said, are located in Osara in Kogi state; Ilesha in Osun state; Ore in Oyo state; Mowe in Ogun state; Giri in FCT; Agwu in Enugu state; Ajaokuta in Kogi state and Lambatta in Niger state. Others are in Akwanga in Nasarawa state; Bazuaye in Bauchi state; Jattu in Edo state; Onigari and Iwo along Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“Furthermore, the Corps’ Zebra formations as well as Road Traffic Crash Clinics would remain open to ensure quick response time to distress calls to emergencies,” he stated.
In addition, he said, personnel of the FRSC’s Call Centre and all other feedback mechanisms being utilised by the Corps for quick response to emergencies would remain at alert while the facilities would be operational throughout the period of the celebration for the service of members of the public. The Corps Marshal called on all stakeholders including the law enforcement agencies as well as transport unions to support the personnel who are engaged in traffic management in the collective efforts to make the roads safe and secured for all. He particularly called on convoy drivers to exercise restraint while moving in congested areas as their attempt to shunt could undermine whatever traffic arrangements that had been put on ground for effective movement of vehicles.
Oyeyemi urged drivers to avoid overloading, speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs urging drivers to plan their journeys well to avoid rushing. He enjoined all passengers to remember to wear their seatbelt whether as front or backseat passengers. He commended the entire Officers and Marshals of the FRSC for the commitment they have shown in the outgoing year, stressing that their diligence is evidenced by the positive result of performance of the Corps in the outgoing year.
“I wish to point out that from the strategic goals of 15 percent reduction in road traffic crashes and 25 percent in fatality rate we set for 2015, there are convincing evidence that we are on course,” he said. While appreciating the Federal Government for the moral and logistics support it has given to the FRSC through the provision of over 300 vehicles this year consisting of patrol vehicles, tow trucks and ambulances, he noted that these logistics have contributed immensely to the efficiency recorded by the Corps in its operational and rescue activities.
He assured members of the public of the commitment of the staff of the Corps to sustained focus in traffic management during the celebration and beyond, noting that the approval of the long awaited Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Document 2014-18 which specifies the role of all tiers of government including non-governmental organisations by the administration was a demonstration of its political support to road safety and a great boost to road safety campaigns. The Corps Marshal maintained that as part of the efforts to make movements of people within the period smooth, the Corps has identified some alternative routes across the country.
These he said are: Lokoja-Kaba-Ayere-Akunu-Ise Junction-Ikare-Ado-Ekiti-Ilesha; Lokoja-Kabba-Ayere-Akunu-Isu junction-Oka Akoko; Lokoja-Okene-Ogori Magogo-Owo; Lokoja-Ajaokuta-Ejule-Otukpa-Obollo Afor; 9th Mile-Udi-Oji River-Umunze and Bauchi-Alkaleri-Kaltungo;Kaduna-Kachia-Kwoi.Manchok. Others are: Keffi-Nasarawa Toto-Abaji-Lokoja; Ikorodu-Sagamu; Lekki-Epe-Ijebu-Ode; Sango-Ifo-Abeokuta.
The FRSC Boss thanked members of the press for the enormous role they continue to play in disseminating road safety information to members of the public, promising to sustain the partnership spirit with them in the coming year, as according to him, road safety is a shared responsibility and everyone must show concern to it.
The 2016 End of Year Special Patrol which has as its theme, “ Crash the Crash,” commenced on 19 December 2016 and is expected to last till 15 January 2017, with the Corps Marshal serving as the Grand Commander of the operation.