The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has expressed the need to stop abusing road transport infrastructure by abiding by the rules and regulations guiding road users.
Fashola made this known at the Lagos Television Combo Hall, Ikeja, Lagos. Being the lead speaker at the symposium tagged: “Driving and the Nigerian in you, sharing the responsibility of safety and security.” The former governor of Lagos State also confirmed the essentiality of the implementation of law and order to ensure the safety of lives on roads.
Responding to a question, he described traders marketing on roadsides as persons simply engaging in legitimate business in an illegitimate way in the name of poverty, which he regarded as wrong propaganda.
He further added that speeding and conversion of construction meant for transportation purposes to other functions are major causes of unsafe roads.
However, he noted the need to repair damaged bridges in Lagos state and promised to keep carrying out his duties as always.
Speaking at the symposium, the Chief Executive Officer of Safety Beyond Borders, Patrick Adenusi, reiterated that the inability of Nigerians to follow rules and regulations is the major problem of road insecurities and safety.
“Driving is guided by rules, just killing ourselves because we do not keep rules.”
He emphasised that progress without movement is impossible and in fact, driving is controlled by movement, therefore it is expected that drivers understand the process, urging all Nigerians and stakeholders to think of those involved in their movements and be willing to do what is right.
According to him, the number of deaths recorded on world roads daily is three thousand seven hundred (3700) and one hundred and nine (109) on Nigerian roads as shown by WHO statistics. He, however, advised every individual to follow traffic rules, get their license and be thoughtful for organisation and orderliness to be achieved.
“Nigeria does not have leadership or followership problem, Neither, does she have literacy nor corruption problem, rather the problem is thoughtlessness,” he said
The convener of the symposium, Mrs Adetola Kayode, in her welcome address, urged everyone to play significant roles in transportation as WHO statistics showed that over one million die every year as a result of accidents and most accidents are caused by reckless driving.
“Everyone has a role to play, both the young and old, commercial and private drivers. Nigeria is our country, we have to fix this country by ourselves because we cannot employ foreigners to these for us I believe if we get people to obey traffic rules we get to live our country right.”
Expressing the value of media on road matters, Lagos sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Segun Ogungbemide said he values the media, which is the channel he employs to talk to thousands simultaneously and they listen, hence bringing Nigerians’ sanity on road crisis.
He added that Safety is the collective responsibility of everyone saying, “We all have our role to play. If members of the society are not cooperating with the government, we cannot have a successful system. Any society where the infraction is overwhelming for enforcement cannot succeed. My message to the public is to please try and appreciate and keep the law so we can orient ourselves and get it right.”
Also present was Mrs Siju Alabi, the General Manager of Lagos Television, whose goodwill message was presented by Bimbo Bello, who spoke on how to be responsible and responsive towards stopping death cause in Nigeria as a result of reckless driving.
Meanwhile, he admonished journalists to play pivotal roles in annihilating road accidents through their stories, and talk shows among others.
Moreso, the Commissioner for Transport, Fredrick Oladehinde, reiterated the need for a change in attitude towards obeying regulations guiding road usage, stating that road safety is every Nigerian’s responsibility.
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