The Federal Road Safety Corps held its 7th annual lectures series on Thursday, 24 August, 2017 at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Members of the international community rated Nigeria road safety efforts as robust and worthy of being emulated by other nations in Africa and around the world.
The main focus of the annual lecture delivered by the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Road Safety, Jean Todt, who was the Guest Speaker at the at the event recognized the need for African countries to promote issues of road safety because of the debilitating effects of road traffic crashes on the social and economic wellbeing of the people of the African continent.
He however expressed happiness that Nigeria is not only operating a road safety lead agency, but has been at the forefront of campaigns for safer road environment within the West African sub-region and African continent at large.
The UN Envoy described the situation of road traffic crashes in Africa as very disturbing and called on governments of the region to devote more resources in tackling the menace.
He stressed that if Nigeria could sustain its commitment to road safety through increased investment in the campaign, the country stands the chance of attaining the target set by the United Nations in its Decade of Action of Action For Road Safety: 2011-2020.
He further stressed that “Nigeria could serve as an example for other nations through credible data management; but this cannot be achieved without some level of investments in data processing and cost,” he stated.
Furthermore, Todt disclosed that as part of the commitment of the United Nations to tackling the issues of financing road safety programmes, a special road safety fund is being conceived by the UN General Assembly.
He called on the Nigerian government to support the initiative to make it a success and create a situation where accessibility to safe and affordable road infrastructure could reach majority of the people by 2030.
In his address, the Special Guest of Honour and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Alhaji Suleiman Hassan, congratulated the leadership of the FRSC for the success it has achieved through the FRSC annual lecture series, which serves as an avenue for creating public awareness on issues of road safety in the country.
According to the Vice President, the vision behind the establishment of the FRSC as Nigeria’s lead agency for road safety management and administration 29 years ago, has been vindicated, adding that the menace of road traffic crashes remains a source of concern not only to the country but most developing economies of the world and attracting the attention of the UN General Assembly.
“The declaration of 2011-2020 as Decade of Action for Road Safety by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, was therefore, the most audacious demonstration of the commitment of the world body to tackling the challenges which road traffic crashes pose to mankind,” he stated.
The Vice President commended the United Nations for giving prominence to issues of road safety in the country and across the world as demonstrated by the choice of Todt, assuring that Nigeria remains committed to sustained investment in road safety.
He further assured that as a leading nation in Africa with Afro-centric foreign policy objectives, Nigeria will continue to render necessary support to the FRSC to make it possible for it to extend technical assistance to the neighbouring countries in Africa for them to establish their road safety lead agency in saving them from threats of road carnage.
The Vice President emphasized that keeping the road safe is not a responsibility which one government agency can successfully handle alone, except with the support of all citizens and stakeholders who must join hands in the spirit of shared responsibility.