[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the continuing efforts by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to make the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, a model in road traffic enforcement among states in Nigeria, the Corps and FCT Administration have agreed to partner for the success of enforcement drive on driver’s licence.
This forms part of the outcomes of the meeting between the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi and the Secretary of Transportation for FCT, Mr Kayode Opeifa when he came on courtesy visit on Tuesday at the FRSC National Headquarters, Abuja.
In the interaction with the Corps Marshal, Mr Opeifa commended the leadership of the FRSC for the success recorded by the nation in the international recognition of the Nigeria Driver’s licence. He noted that due to the security features introduced into the licences, which make their validity to be verifiable online, many states in the USA have given reciprocal recognition to the holders of the licence from Nigeria, adding that the feats achieved by the FRSC over the years were made possible because of its adoption of technology and huge investment in information technology.
He congratulated all the states of the Federation and the agencies that contributed to achieving the feat. He further observed that the credibility attained by the document and consequent international recognition remain a pride to the nation. In the same vein, Mr Opeifa commended the FRSC for its untiring campaign on roadworthiness of vehicles, not only in Nigeria, but within the West African sub-region where the FRSC presided over the affairs of the West African Road Safety Organization (WARSO) for a number of years during which visible results were recorded in creating road safety awareness among the people.
The Secretary appealed for sustained collaboration with the FRSC to make the Electronic Vehicle Inspection Scheme pioneered by the FCT Administration a success, saying the contribution made by the FRSC towards the success of the project is well appreciated. He restated the willingness of the FCT Administration to tap into the experiences and synergy offered by the FRSC in the area of traffic management in the country with the aim of making Abuja a model for other states of the federation to emulate.
He expressed support for the idea of establishing FCT Road Traffic Management Agency, noting that in view of the growing volume and sophistication of motor transportation business in the FCT, there is the need for the establishment of the agency to handle road traffic management in the FCT the Road Traffic Services would continue to play its traditional role of vehicle inspection and issuance of roadworthiness certificates to motorists.
In his remarks, the Corps Marshal commended Mr Kayode Opeifa for his immense contributions to the success of the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy document. He noted that with the approval given to the strategy document by the Federal Government and inauguration of the National Road Safety Advisory Council by the Vice President early this year, which drew membership from Governors and Ministers including some non- governmental organizations, Nigeria is set to tackle its road safety challenges as demonstrated by the political will of the government.
The Corps Marshal further observed that some of the immediate challenges the Secretary would face in his assignments at the FCT includes the challenges of road traffic management during the peak period characterizing Christmas and New Year. Others he pointed out are prompt response to report of road conditions by the FCT administration, but expressed satisfaction with the promptness with which the FCT Minister has been responding to reports on road conditions in parts of the FCT. This he said has enabled safer road usage and prevented unnecessary gridlock in the FCT.
Oyeyemi restated the view that the solution to eradicating mechanically deficient and rickety vehicles from plying the FCT roads lies in employing effective use of electronic vehicle inspection scheme. He assured the Secretary of the readiness of the FRSC to collaborate with the FCT Administration in ensuring the success of road safety initiatives in the FCT including maximum utilization of the vehicle inspection scheme for safety of roads in the FCT.
The Corps Marshal further noted that part of the reforms carried out by the FRSC to protect the integrity of the driver’s licence was the policy of compulsory participation of fresh drivers in the driving school and certification by relevant agents before being captured for biometric data by the FRSC and vowed to sustain the integrity of the driver’s licences including the number plates.
The FCT Secretary of Transportation was accompanied on the visit by some principal officers of the Transport Ministry including the Director of Motor Traffic Administration.