Posted by News Express | 21 June 2015 | 2,679 times
The Governor of Sokoto State, Rt Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has charged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to initiate strict measures that could address the menace of overloading in the state, pledging the support of the state government in achieving the goal.
Governor Tambuwal gave the charge while receiving the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, and members of his entourage at the Government House Sokoto, over the weekend.
According to him, the activities of commercial transporters who overload their vehicles with goods and passengers to make quick gains are not only exploitative, but dangerous to safety of lives of the innocent passengers they carry.
He, therefore, warned perpetrators of the act to desist, stressing that the state government will collaborate with the FRSC to embark on aggressive public enlightenment programmes and strict enforcement of the relevant laws.
The governor further stated that overloading has become a source of concern to the government and people of the state, noting that FRSC as the agency responsible for handling such traffic matter must do all it could to stop it.
“Overloading not only exploits the poor passengers, but undermines their safety. We would work with you to eradicate the practice from the state,” he stated.
As a demonstration of the state government’s concern, the governor stated that he was directing the state media organs to liaise with the FRSC command in the state to come up with appropriate public enlightenment programmes that could educate members of the public on the dangers of overloading.
He also called on the Headmasters and Principals of Primary and Secondary Schools in the state to encourage the setting up of Road Safety Clubs in their schools, for children to imbibe the culture of road safety from their childhood.
“I assure you that Sokoto state government will continue to support the FRSC in its campaigns to create safer road environment in the country,” he further stated.
On the menace of tanker crashes which were witnessed recently in parts of the country, Governor Tambuwal commended the leadership of the FRSC for its prompt response to the challenges, admonishing drivers to always adhere strictly to safety rules and regulations, adding that all hands must be on deck to make the roads safe for all users.
“A lot needs to be done in sensitising people to embrace the ideals of road safety. That was why as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, I created a Committee on road safety to bring issues of road safety to the consciousness of members of the legislature and that achieved a lot. I assure you that we would continue to support road safety programmes in order to avert unnecessary deaths on our highways,” Tambuwal added.
Speaking earlier, Corps Marshal Oyeyemi commended Governor Aminu Tambuwal for being road safety-friendly as demonstrated through his pro road safety stance as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He assured the government and people of Sokoto State, that FRSC is stepping up public enlightenment programmes as well as enforcement strategies in the efforts to restore safety on the highways.
While expressing gratitude to the Sokoto state government for its sustained support to road safety matters, as demonstrated by the last administration, which built and donated an office complex to the FRSC in the state, Oyeyemi restated his commitment to ensuring that issues of overloading are adequately tackled through operational strategies being worked out.
He further stated that the number plate replacement centre in the state which had remained in moribund will soon become fully operational, as necessary measures had been taken for the plant to resume full production.
According to him, when fully operational, the centre will bring succour to the motorists in the state and neigbouring areas who might require replacement of lost or faded number plates or acquisition of new ones for their vehicles, noting that such people would not need to travel to Abuja or Lagos to get the replacement or new ones.
Speaking on the frequent cases of tanker crashes, Oyeyemi disclosed that the FRSC was alarmed by the incidents, which, he said, had altered the trending down of road traffic crashes witnessed in the country since the beginning of the year.
He, however, assured that adequate preventive measures are being taken to avert future reoccurrence. Part of the measures, he said, was the meeting he held earlier in the year with road transport unions which led to the ongoing nationwide rallies.
“Immediately the first tanker crash occurred in Onitsha, I called a meeting with the leadership of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) division of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) where we resolved on some safety measures to be taken.
“As a follow up to that, we organised a summit on haulage operations last week in Abuja, with relevant stakeholders in attendance and plan of action on averting tanker crashes was drawn up for implementation,” he stated.
“I am also going to address the executives of the PTD at their National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting holding in the state, where all such issues would be re-echoed. I can assure the nation that with the measures being put in place and increased vigilance by the FRSC, the challenges of tanker crashes in the country would be effectively tackled and become a thing of the past,” Oyeyemi added.
The Corps Marshal was accompanied on the visit by some principal officers of the FRSC, including the Deputy Corps Marshal in charge of operations at the National Headquarters, Abuja, Adei Abu.
•Photo shows Governor Tambuwal.
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