The Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma on Thursday 3 August, 2017 inaugurated the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Nigeria Road Safety Strategy (NRSS).
For quite some time now, Road Safety has become one of the defining issues in public health and economic development globally arising from the considerable number of injuries victims sustain, lives and property loss, including roads and road infrastructure degradation.
Even though the nation has made huge progress through the thoughtful steps taken by the government of the Federation to establish the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in 1988 as the nation’s Lead Agency for Road Safety Management; this achievement could have been quadrupled if there was developed for the nation a national Road Safety Strategy. The Nigerian Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) 2014 – 2018 was therefore developed to address all related issues.
The Nigeria Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) is also Nigeria’s response to two significant events, viz;
- The Declaration of UN Decade of Action (2011-2020) for Road Safety which demands that member countries should provide a direction towards achieving the vision for the road safety using the Safe System approach anchored on key strategic initiatives.
- The country capacity review conducted by the World Bank to measure Nigeria’s capacity to deliver on road safety.
Thus, the overall objective of NRSS is to establish an integrated national approach towards reducing incessant occurrence of deaths and serious injuries, damage to property, including infrastructure as a result of road traffic crashes on Nigeria roads. It recognized that road safety is multi-faceted and therefore outlined the responsibilities of various tiers of government MDAs and NGOs, and sought to harmonize the different road safety efforts by emphasizing the vision, goal, purpose, output, outcomes as well as the initiatives for road safety management in Nigeria.
The NRSS provided an institutional framework with the composition of National Road Safety Advisory Council (NaRSAC) to oversee the implementation of the strategy under the Chairmanship of the Vice President. It provided for a 21 member Council with the Vice President as Chairman.
The key responsibilities of NaRSAC are to set National Road Safety Strategy targets, ensure coordination between Federal, State and Local Governments in achieving road safety targets, drive the implementation of NRSS, evaluation of outcomes of national road safety initiatives, development of a funding plan for strategic initiatives, monitoring of funds disbursement of pre-approved funds for strategic initiatives, review monitoring and evaluation reports (as submitted by FRSC), for effective coordination of road safety programmes and reports to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on progress made, perform annual review of the NRSS, oversee aspects that relate to road safety enforcement of 10 percent of the National Road Fund and endorse subsequent NRSS prior to submission to the FEC.
The NRSS also provided for a Technical Working Group (TWG) with Secretariat domiciled in the FRSC and comprising State Governments and States Motor Vehicle Administration Agencies constituting State Traffic Management Agencies and Vehicles Inspection Offices; The Police; relevant MDAs, Professional Associations, Women Unions and the Media.
TWG is responsible for implementation, uniform standard on traffic enforcement, vehicle inspection, road signs and markings, personnel training and rescue and recovery administration. It is equally to make recommendations to FRSC on issues that require national regulation and standards, prepare annual budget for the Nigeria Road Safety Fund (NiRoSFund), submit proposal for specific intervention funding, perform assigned strategic activities, prepare and present progress reports on assigned strategic activities for NaRSAC consideration, conduct annual review of NRSS, mainstream assigned strategic activities into operational processes and procedures and review as well as adopt future NRSS document.
It is recalled that the NRSS was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and later endorsed by the National Economic Council (NEC) during its 66th meeting on Thursday, April 21, 2016. The
National Road Safety Advisory Council (NaRSAC) headed by the Vice President was inaugurated on Thursday, February 16, 2017. The Technical Working Group (TWG) has been inaugurated to complete the implementation mechanisms at the Federal level.