The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has called for strong synergy between the FRSC and the States Traffic Management Agencies for effective traffic management in the country, saying only effective collaboration between the agencies could address the challenges of traffic management in the country. Oyeyemi stated this while addressing heads of states traffic management agencies from sixteen (16) states of the Federation who converged at the FRSC National Headquarters Abuja for the maiden meeting of the state traffic management agencies.
According to Bisi Kazeem, Head Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, the Corps Marshal during the meeting said coming together became imperative in view of the need for collaboration and partnership between the state agencies and the FRSC for harmonious relationship and operational standards in matters of Road Safety with a view to addressing issues of data collation, crash investigation and traffic offences. He expressed satisfaction with the fact that of the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT, 16 have established their Traffic Management Agencies through the enactment of appropriate laws by the State Houses of Assembly.
This, he said, is not only commendable, but a bold and thoughtful stride of the various administrations. “For quite some time now, the Federal Road Safety Corps, even with its powers to operate on all roads of the Federation, founded on Section 11 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has consistently advocated for joint ownership of road safety by all Nigerians and for the States to give desired direction within their domains,” he stated.
“All over the world road safety is a shared responsibility; that is why the Corps has been encouraging States to establish their own Traffic Management Agencies. There is no gain saying that some States have been assisted in the capacity development of their personnel at the FRSC Academy, in Udi, Enugu State,” he added.
The Corps Marshal further stressed that the gesture of providing training to the state traffic agencies is open to all States that may be desirous of the support, including retraining. “The Corps’ efforts are in line with its mandate as the Lead For Road Traffic Administration and Safety Management in Nigeria which must necessarily assist all stakeholders to expand their exposures,” he stated..
The Corps Marshal expressed the appreciation of the FRSC to the Federal Government for the enormous support it has enjoyed, pointing out that the provision of over 300 patrol vehicles, tow trucks and ambulances this year coupled with other moral and logistics support to the Corps have gone a long way in motivating staff for increased productivity. He added that the approval of the National Road Safety Strategy document by the administration which provides an institutional framework for the composition of National Road Safety Advisory Council (NaRSAC) under the chairmanship of the Vice President is the height of political support to issues of road safety in the country.
“It provides for 21 members with the Vice President as Chairman. Other members are One Governor each from the six geo-political zones; Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Honourable Minister of Transport, Works, Health, Justice, Education, Finance, Environment, Police Affairs, Interior, National Planning Commission, Federal Capital Territory, Labour and Productivity as well as the National Security Adviser; Presidents of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Society of Engineers and Chairman, Federal Road Safety Commission while Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps serves as Member/Secretary,” he stated.
The Corps Marshal further noted that the key responsibilities of National Road Safety Advisory Council is to set National Road Safety Strategy targets, ensure coordination between Federal, State and Local Governments in achieving road safety targets, drive the implementation of National Road Safety Strategy, 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.
“The basic role of the State Governments in the strategy document includes mobilizing supports for successful implementation of the NRSS country-wide; Cascading the NRSS to the Local Government level, by institutionalizing the process in their respective State; making adequate budgetary provision as it concerns their implementing agencies; liaising with FRSC to organize workshops to validate the targets set for them in the document; reposition States Bureau of Statistics to facilitate collation of all relevant data,” Oyeyemi stated.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Director-General of Kano State Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) AIG Mohammed Hadi Zarewa commended the Corps Marshal for the initiative of the meeting which he described as timely. He stressed that with the platform, members would have the opportunity to share experiences and collaborate with one another in addressing the challenges of traffic management in the country. AIG Chris OlaKpe in his own speech called for sustained meeting of the agencies which would enable members to cooperate with one another in addressing traffic management especially within the neighboring states.
Before the meeting commenced, the heads of the agencies paid familiarization visits to the FRSC Print Farm at Kado Abuja and the Number Plate Production Plant Gwagwalada as well the Information Technology Centre at the National Headquarters of the Corps.