The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, has charged the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, to be more visible by embarking on public enlightenment/sensitization as Nigerians are unaware of the facilities they command and the numerous services they can render.
Dr. Ajani who made this known Thursday while on a facility visit to the FRSC headquaters in Abuja said: “I am quite impressed. I am also impressed with the good job you are doing in Nigeria, but, we need to do more education, more sensitization”.
“We need to rake up the educational platform even on the social media, so people know where to find what concerning road transportation and safety” , she added.
Speaking further, Ajani said,“There’s a lot more we can do together. it is one government. There’s need for us to stop duplicating things. We need to tell ourselves the truth, when it comes to the economy, we are not there yet. We are struggling as a nation, so where an agency already has something, we don’t have to go duplicate it. Why don’t we look at how to collaborate and probably expand it to take more people coming on board”.
The Permanent Secretary made this note following revelations that the FRSC and the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, NITT, have synonymous functions that they can collaborate on such as the simulation driving school for articulated vehicles and cars. She also noted that both have a data centre for road mishaps and other road related activities hence the need for the gap to be bridged.
Regarding the call by the FRSC on the Ministry to develop other means of transportation, Ajani said: “Thank you for the intermodal transportation system input. That is the core mandate of the Federal Ministry of Transportation. We are trying to link the ports and the ICD’s (Inland Container Depots), with rail system or our roads will continue to suffer. No matter the repairs and the maintenance that the Federal Ministry of Works does, the fact remains that the trucks that get on these roads are beyond the tonnage but we can’t talk about enforcing the right tonnage on the road when you do not have alternatives”.
“What we have been trying to explore since last year 2021 is also to open up the inland waterways, so that barges will convey those containers from Lagos, Port Harcourt, to places like Onitsha up to Lokoja where we have Baro port, so that will take more ,loads off the roads and preserve our roads better for those who must use road transportation” she said.
Speaking earlier, the Corps Marshal, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, called on the Ministry to proffer and develop other intermodal means of transportation as the current sole dependence on road transport as the means of conveying goods and persons is overburdened.
Speaking on notable strides of the Corps in recent times, Boboye said the use of body cameras on Field Officers was launched in September of 2021 and it has stemmed reports of corrupt allegations while the presence of the cameras has helped in quick dispensation of court processes against traffic offenders.
According to him, technology driven system will address a many challenges currently faced by the FRSC, hence the Call Centre, Operational Monitoring and Control Room as well as instalation of cameras on patrol vehicles.
Also speaking, the Director, Transport School, NITT, Dr. Baba Ibrahim, said NITT recently embarked on a study tour to Rabat, Morocco, oblivious that the technology is already being deployed and in use by the Corps. He, therefore, reiterated the call for bridge building in government institutions.
The Permanent Secretary and her team which included: Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT), Mary Udu-Ejembi and the Director, Transport, Planning and Coordination, FMT, Dr. Mercy Illori, were shown the Operations Monitoring and Control Centre, the FRSC Call Centre,for distress calls or support needs relating to road users, a Data Centre, for collation of statistics on road users, accidents, infringements and the National Traffic Radio (FRSC) ,where all road users can tune in for the latest information on traffic.