The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha has urged the state governments to set up model driving schools in their states as an antidote to curbing cases of quackery in the driving school operation in the collective efforts to restore sanity to the nation’s roads. He gave the charge on Tuesday while declaring open the National Workshop for Driving School Operators in Nigeria at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office of the SGF, Olusegun Adekunle, he expressed dismay at the level of avoidable crashes caused by poorly trained drivers and enjoined stakeholders to join hands to sanitise the operation of driving schools in the country. He directed that henceforth, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) must ensure that it is only those that have been properly trained and appropriately certified that are allowed to drive on the nation’s roads.
The SGF frowned at the ugly practices whereby some operators of driving schools would hack into FRSC’s portal with a view to accessing the certificates and sabotaging the licensing system of the country. This he said is unacceptable to the Federal Government and all security agencies must join hands to address the menace. Boss Mustapha mandated the FRSC Management to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to evolve measures that could address the malpractices, saying it they were capable of undermining the integrity of the licensing system.
While commending FRSC for being proactive in matters of road safety, the SGF directed that all necessary measures be taken to ensure that the nation’s road is rid off crashes caused by poorly trained and unlicensed drivers. He urged all drivers including the private vehicles operators to install speed limiters in their vehicles as a means of addressing speed induced crashes.
In his welcome address, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi stated that the policy of Driving School Standardisation Programme was evolved as part of Management’s resolve to address issues of standardisation in the operation of driving schools in the country. He noted that in the efforts to achieve the goals, state committee on driving schools are set up to deal with issues of monitoring and recommendation of the driving schools for accreditation to ensure that the highest standard is observed by all operators licensed to operate.
The Corps Marshal further revealed that in the sustained efforts by the Corps to keep to the highest operational standards, a number of driving schools have been certified, suspended or denied accreditation. He commended Lagos and Bayelsa states for setting model driving schools in their states and encouraged other states to emulate the examples.
The FRSC Boss promised that as a demonstration of his Management’s commitment to restoring sanity in the operations of the driving schools, FRSC will continue to monitor and sanction the defaulters. He noted that the workshop which had earlier been held in other geopolitical zones of the country including the South West, South East and South-South as well as parts of the Northern geopolitical zones was to bring the operators together to educate them on the prerequisites for setting up the school and sustaining the operating licences.
He called for vigilance among the operators to deal with the challenges of quackery, vowing that appropriate measures would continue to be taken against illegal operators anywhere in the country. He commended members of the law enforcement agencies for rendering support to the Corps in its determination to maintain the standards of the driving schools.
The Chairman of the FRSC Governing Board, Mallam Bukhari Bello in his brief remarks restated the essence of driving school as a means of enhancing the integrity of the National Driver’s Licence and curbing recklessness on the nation’s roads. He assured that the Board will continue to collaborate with the Corps in its determination to ensure safety on the nation’s roads through operation of standard driving schools.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babtunde Fashola who was represented at the occasion by the Director of Engineering in the Ministry, delivered the keynote address in which he applauded the FRSC for its road safety campaigns and called for sustained training of the operators of driving schools.
There were goodwill messages by the Chief of Naval Staff, the President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Nazeem Usman Yasin and that of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Chief Musa Shehu Isiwele.
Participants to the workshop were drawn from the North central states of Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa and Niger and attended by various stakeholders including law enforcement agencies.