…moves to crash the crash
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Corridor 5 of the Federal Road Safety Commission has held its inaugural capacity building workshop for frontline stakeholders in Benin, Asaba and Awka corridor, with the sole aim to crash the crash in the area.
The theme of the seminar “Improving Personnel Capacity and Competency To Enhance Better Service Delivery In Corridor 5” held at the command headquarters of the Delta State command of the Federal Road Safety Commission Asaba, was the brainchild of the corridor commander Corridor 5 DCC Christopher Haruna Kuje and provided veritable platform for the frontline officers to pool ideas together as to what should be done to enhance their operations along Edo, Delta and Anambra states, which corridor 5 covers.
Declaring the occasion open, sector commander of the commission in Anambra state, Andrew Ayodele Kumapayi, recalled that the Federal Road Safety Commission as a result-oriented organisation placed very high premium on capacity building for her personnel in order to ensure continual improvement and career development, noting that the importance of capacity building cannot be overemphasized.
Kumapayi told participants at the workshop that there could never be a better service delivery without better training. He therefore stressed that capacity building was a panacea to the achievement of the core mandate and strategic objectives of the corps.
According to him, the workshop is a deliberate effort of corridor 5 to enhance personnel capacity and competence for impactful service delivery. He however reminded participants that they have the mandate to ensure traffic safety on corridor 5, noting that there is a dire need for them to have the requisite knowledge and understanding of the road users’ characteristics as it would help identify traffic challenges as well as adopt better modalities to curtail them.
Earlier, the organizer of the workshop and corridor commander of Benin-Asaba-Awka corridor DCC Christopher Haruna Kuje said the programme was organised in order for frontline stakeholders in corridor 5 to interact on ways to minimize the risk of road traffic crashes, serious injuries and deaths on road traffic in line with the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety as well as ways to improve on their operational activities.
Kuje explained that the management of the Federal Road Safety Commission in May 2019, activated five out of the eighteen World Bank Safe Corridors and appointed corridor commanders as a new tier in the operational architecture of the corps to micro manage highways in Nigeria in order to add value to operational activities of commands along the Corridors in line with current realities and best practices.
The corridor commander who said that corridor 5 comprised Uwan Esigie Unit Command and Abudu Outpost both in Edo state sector command, Agbor Unit Command and Issele Uku Unit Command in Delta State sector command as well as Onitsha Unit Command, Upper Iweka Outpost and Nteje Unit Command in Anambra state sector command, were also some of the places he has visited ensuring things were done in line with world class standards since he assumed office in May last year.
He however reiterated that the imperatives of the workshop stem from his personal belief in the policy of continuous consultation with stakeholders for aggregate of positive ideas and suggestions that will enhance safety in corridor five through visibility on the highways, enforcement of traffic rules especially critical offences, prompt clearance of obstructions as well as effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians.
DCC zonal operations Joseph Wenebi-Tobi who presented a lecture on “How To Achieve 50% Reduction In RTC And Fatality In 2020 In Corridor Five in Iine With UN Decade Of Action On Road Safety” said the import of his presentation hinged on the UN decade of action on road safety which emphasized the need to strive to reduce deaths in road accidents by 50%. He expressed confidence that the lecture achieved the desired goal, saying that one of the cardinal objectives of the lecture was the need for continuous drivers’ training as well as pre-patrol briefs especially for the patrol men.
Another lecture delivered by DCC Fatayi Bakare, Head of Operations Delta state sector command, which centred on “Enforcement of Critical Offences As Strategic Tool To Crash The Crash In Corridor Five” said the main reason the interactive session was held was to re-engineer the workers for them to be more productive and proactive in enforcing critical offences.
Bakare said the corps believes that if critical offences were reduced to the barest minimum, then there is every tendency that crashes will equally reduce to the barest minimum on the roads. He said the topic of his lecture was informed by the position of the World Health Organisation which has identified road traffic crash as an issue. He however stressed that no one should sit on the fence rather collective action should be the way forward.
Meanwhile, moderator of the technical sessions and Deputy Corps Commander in-charge of operations in Edo state sector command, DCC Felix Thema, said the resource persons selected for the lectures were indeed frontline defenders in the enforcement of traffic offences in corridor five. He said also that the topics chosen for the workshop would have far-reaching effects on the unit commanders, heads of operations and down the line.
Thema noted that henceforth issue of drivers’ fatigue as well as outright lack of drivers’ license would form critical areas of enforcement and public education, adding that drivers’fatigue is a silent killer. He equally disclosed that there is a policy in place which mandates a driver to have some rest after every four hours of driving to avoid fatigue. He therefore stressed that fleet operators and other transporters should incorporate tutorials on the terminal consequences of fatigue when driving for too long without some moments of respite.
Godson Okolo, consultant to drivers’ welfare club of Nigeria, who attended the workshop, lent more credence to the fact that it was necessary the programme was organised to inform all and sundry about the workings of the Federal Road Safety Commission. He said the workshop would also enlighten their upper echelons to be fully prepared for their work to reduce road traffic crashes even as he enjoined FRSC to device means of effective communication with drivers and other road users.
“Overview of Corridor Five Commands Operational Activities To Reduce Road Traffic Crash And Fatalities In 2019 And The Way forward In 2020” was the presentation made by corridor five commander DCC Christopher Haruna Kuje. He said the programme was carefully thought out so it would enable them to improve on the way things were done in the corridor. He said that by the zonal assessment, the rate of crashes dropped in the corridor due to monitoring and supervision. According to him, the new initiative of the corps marshal will bring further improvement in service delivery, noting that frontline officers have been charged to amongst other things, embark on the enforcement of critical offences that trigger road traffic crashes such as dangerous driving, drunk-driving, overspeeding and over-loading, noting that if the frontline officers could enforce them together with public enlightenment programmes, then they would be able to crash the crash in the corridor.