Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Federal Road Safety Commission has commemorated its 32 years of operation in the country. The establishment of the commission on February 18, 1988 was aimed at enlightening Nigerians on road safety and crash prevention matters with a view to creating a safe motoring environment for all and sundry. One of the cardinal objectives of the corps is the enforcement of road traffic rules and regulations.
To further create an enabling environment and inclusive system for the enforcement of road traffic regulations, the commission has over the years adopted a strategy of aggressive public education and safety awareness campaigns to educate and enlighten road users in its efforts to ensure safer use of the roads.
Too many avoidable deaths and injuries resulting from a motor vehicle crash in Nigeria today can no longer be accepted as part of the nation’s destiny. These crashes are as a result of human errors due to faulty decisions and actions by drivers and motorists in general. Road traffic crashes are therefore preventable. At the celebration in Awka, Anambra state, the sector commander of the commission, Andrew Ayodele Kumapayi, recounts the commission’s experiences on Nigerian roads in ensuring safety and compliance to traffic regulations. Be that as it may, the anniversary offered veritable platform for guests on the occasion to also appraise the efforts of Federal Road Safety Commission in carrying out their constitutional mandate of creating a safe motoring environment.
One of the very important personalities, who also bagged an award at the event, His Royal Majesty Igwe Sir Ben Izuchukwu Emeka, traditional ruler of Umueri kingdom in Anambra-East local government area of Anambra state, said the efforts of the FRSC could not be overstressed because of the risk involved in their jobs. Igwe Emeka observed that the officials of the commission had done tremendous jobs in traffic management across the country, especially in Anambra state where he said the FRSC has reduced road traffic crashes drastically. Although the traditional ruler advised that the commission should look inwards and clamp down on some corrupt officials tarnishing their image with their conducts in the line of duty, he said the sector commander should do the needful to stop such corrupt officials from disgracing FRSC as a corporate entity.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Anambra State Traffic Management Agency (ATMA) Mr. Pat Chiezugo Obiefuna in his opinion felt that FRSC has come a long way at 32. Obiefuna maintained that the FRSC is in charge of traffic management across the federation and that so far, so good, the Commission has done well and still doing very well. He however suggested that there was need for the federal government to provide tow trucks for the commission to ease their operations.
Meanwhile, a representative of Dozzy Oil at the FRSC 32 years anniversary celebration, Mr. Reginald Emetoh, gave the FRSC a pat on the back for being steadfast and alive to their responsibilities in the last 32 years. He observed that the officials of the FRSC did not have their presence in most of the roads and that sometimes where they were present on the roads, they didn’t do much work to manage and control traffic. This he believes leads to heavy traffic gridlocks on some of the roads they are supposed to ensure free flow of traffic.
Barr. Ben Osaka, Anambra state coordinator of Special Marshals, noted that the collaboration between the FRSC and the Anambra State Government had been very fruitful and rewarding even though he said it was important that the federal government provided more equipment and machines to enhance the operations of the commission.
Speaking on the occasion, the sector commander of the Anambra State sector command of the commission, Mr. Andrew Ayodele Kumapayi, recounted the travails of the commission in the last 32 years of road safety administration. Kumapayi said that the FRSC had keyed into the United Nations Declarations on road safety and had also introduced so many innovations in the last 32 years to drive home the message of road safety in the country. He said the situation has also improved in Anambra state, where he noted that road traffic crashes had reduced considerably. The sector commander also stated that there is a robust synergy between the FRSC and other sister agencies in the state. The collaboration according to him has greatly impacted positively on their operations, stressing that road safety is a collective responsibility. On the issue of corrupt officials in the system, the sector commander explained that the commission has dismissed some officials from the commission on account of unethical conducts. Kumapayi also sought the platform of the anniversary celebration to caution members of the public to desist from giving money or any form of gratification to her officials on duty, stressing that the commission does not condone illegality let alone bribery and corruption amongst its officers and men in the commission. The event also featured the presentation and launch of the Anambra sector command’s maiden edition of its magazine named ‘Safety Focus’ while awards were also bestowed on some dignitaries on the occasion.