Following the commemoration of the 2016 World Day of Remembrance, a road safety interest group, PATVORA Initiative, has called on the Federal Government government to properly fund the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to allow the commission perform its functions optimally.
If this is done, the group said, there would be drastic reduction in the number of road mishaps across the country.
The group called for improvement in vital ppost-crashactions with emphasis on Medicare, Investigation and Justice.
According to the group’s Project Adviser, Chude Ojugbana, “it is hard to be satisfied with the level of attention extended to the disturbing road death statistics by all tiers of government especially given that road crashes claim more lives on daily basis than any known insurgence or war situation in Nigeria’s post independence.”
The Non-Governmental Organisation lamented that Nigeria remains a country where every road user is a probable road victim with long list of policy makers including Ministers, Federal Legislators, Governors, top government officials and their family members lost to preventable road deaths.
The call from the group is coming after the November 20th commemoration of 2016 World Day of Remembrance(WDR) for road crash victims including the death of a renowned photojournalist with Naij.com, Adeyinka Adeparusi, to yet another road accident. The late Adeparusi who was described as a very professional and clear-headed individual died on the spot of the road crash in an apparent motorcycle accident.
While commending the efforts of the government, Chude Ojugbana who is also Country Ambassador for Geneva based International Road Federation(IRF), admitted that, “It is fair and good to recognise that Nigeria has a purposeful National Road Safety agency, FRSC, that its staff and management have demonstrated knowledge for addressing road traffic injuries especially with innovations and expressed best efforts.”
He however questioned the capacity of the agency in terms of human, facility and financial resources to address the needs of over one hundred and forty million Nigerian road users. He also applauded the FRSC and the Federal Ministry of Health which he said, has done well to address the problem of hospital rejection of road accident victims.
The group expressed fears that given the many challenges that confronts Nigeria in recession, what is increasingly clear is that the road safety situation may get worse if necessary remedial steps are not speedily taken. Indeed, as with every recession, the group said vehicles will not be well maintained, roads will experience increasing deterioration and the commercial driver population will drastically increase as many workers in Nigeria have already found it expedient to use their personal cars to augment their income.
“With such a situation that puts more pressure on our roads and over stretches the limited facilities of the FRSC with negative consequences of increased road crashes, there is great need for the Nigerian government and its citizens to speedily embrace the recommendations of the 2016 WDR in strengthening vital post crash actions by enhancing rescue facilities for the FRSC and expanding capacity of those that can provide care for road crash victims,” it pointed out.
It therefore urged the Presidency and Legislature to explore cum encourage innovative funding options for road safety in a manner which will ensure that all those that make commercial gains from road development and road use should compulsorily fund road safety including companies that contribute to increased motorization and alcohol beverage manufacturers that grossly increase road risks.