L-R: UN Envoy on Road safety, Jean Todt; Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; Pruti Gautam; and Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi in the Minister’s office
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Road Safety, Jean Todt has tasked the federal government to stop the importation of abandoned vehicles which are not road worthy. He gave this advice when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday in Abuja.
According to him, “It is not acceptable that the developed countries are selling the cars that are forbidden in their countries to bring them to countries in Africa and some other countries in Asia or Latin America. So we must make sure we work on minimum safety standard on cars and bicycles”, he said.
The UN Special Envoy congratulated the Minister for receiving the Kofi Annan Award which was the first time the award was given in a neighbouring country. He further commended the Minister for making road safety a priority, saying “we are very happy to have you as a member of the Advisory Board of the UN Road Safety Fund as Nigeria has always been a top leader when we speak about Road Safety.”
“I commend the work being done by the Federal Road Safety Corps and the strong commitment of the Nigerian government for putting road safety on top of their agenda”, Todt said.
Responding, the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said “one of government’s priority is to ensure that we keep Nigerians alive and one way to do so is to ensure the roads are safe, both for human traffic and those that use vehicles”.
The Minister disagreed with the UN Envoy on the number of deaths they projected, saying , “I seem to rely more on what the FRSC has put before me than the global picture: reason is that the moment you see 39 thousand persons have died in Nigeria, that’s about 100 persons per day, that’s huge. The moments we have 100 deaths per day, it becomes an emergency. The Federal Government will raise it into emergency level for the government to address it”.
Ameachi congratulated the FRSC for the award, saying, “to whom much is given much is expected”, adding that they have to do more to reduce the number of tragedies, to educate Nigerians and to get road users to behave properly.
He assured the UN delegates of government’s support, stating that if there’s any support they want from the Transport Sector, he will be glad to mention it to the President.
Also speaking, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, disclosed that the Corps has been getting support from the United Nation Secretary General Special Envoy’s office in the area of capacity building.
While congratulating the Minister for being chosen as the African representative on the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund Advisory Board, he also thanked him for the support they have enjoyed from his office.
In the company of the UN Envoy were: Pruti Gautam, UN Special Envoy Office, O.I Ewhrudjakpor, DCM AHR (FRSC), J.K Fanola mni, DCM OPS (FRSC), Bisi Kazeem, ACM CPEO (FRSC), amongst others.