By Paschal Emeka, Abuja The Accident Prevention and Rescue Initiative (APRI), a Non-Governmental Organisation with a mandate to ensure safety on the nation’s highways, has called on governors of the 36 states of the federation to pioritise the procurement of state of the art equipment for their respective Vehicle Inspection Agencies and their officers so as to curb road traffic accidents especially in the forthcoming festive period.
Recall that every state is expected to among other things establish Vehicle Inspection Agencies in order to prevent road traffic crashes especially on states owned roads across the nation.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, the group’s Executive Director Prince Fidelis Nnadi expressed worry over the poor funding of Vehicle Inspection Agencies by some state government which he attributed to the major cause of the current increasing rate of road accidents on Nigeria roads.
Nnadi, according to the statement, appealed to the governors to rise in defence of innocent road users and the motoring public who are being exposed to risk of road accidents caused partly by poor standard of vehicles used in conveying people and goods.
“The governors as the chief security officers of states should direct their attention to the poor quality and standard of their respective road traffic/vehicle inspection officers whose responsibility are directed in the road worthiness of vehicles and other road traffic matters, Nnadi said.
Stressing further, he warned that the Federal Road Safety Corps cannot alone solve the problems of road recurring road traffic accidents in the country unless the governors rise to equip their own agencies towards complimenting their efforts. “We have three categories of roads which are classified as trunk A, B and C” of which the Federal agency are responsible for class A roads while States and Local governments are responsible for B and C roads and these roads have recorded high loss of lives and property to which the governors should be more concerned to upgrade the quality of their respective states’ agencies in this direction.
While commending many of the governors for their resolve and actions in improving and funding security network in the states, he stated that the road traffic/vehicle inspection officers and agencies should be carried along as they are also part of the security network.
Nnadi faulted Kaduna and Nasarawa State governors for banning their respective Vehicle Inspection Officers and agencies for whatever reasons but advised that the best that they ought to do is to improve on their capacity through training and retraining with adequate funding with the objective to serve and deliver on their mandates.