The Minister of State Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has commended the Federal Road Safety Corps for their efforts in contending with Disaster and Safety Management on the Nigerian roads.
Prince Clem Agba made this commendation at the one day close out meeting and unveiling of the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy NRSS II (2019 – 2023) held today in Abuja. The Minister expressed concern that road crashes are fast becoming an epidemic recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a key target for elimination in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).
The Minister asserted that although the country has made tremendous commitments and progress in the implementation of the first edition of the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy (2014 – 2018) each road death leaves families and friends bereaved with its own particular story pain and misery.
According to him, every year, over 39000 Nigerians die from road crashes. In 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated road traffic fatalities in Nigeria at 39802, while the estimated rate per 100,000 deaths stood at 21.4. These are not mere statistics but lives lost to road crashes.
Prince Agba further stated that the road crashes also include loss of human resources, drain on the national economy, as well as trauma and shock with negative effects on national development and an estimated GDP loss of about 2%.
The Minister said the Nigerian Road Safety Strategy (2014- 2018) was designed to respond to the mandate of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/255 which declared 2011 to 2020 as a decade of action for Road safety and African road safety Charter to reduce Road traffic crashes in the country.
He further explains that the Nigerian Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) is an integrated Road safety approach anchored on the five pillars of the United Nations decade of actions, namely: effective road safety management, safer roads, safe vehicles, safer road users and post-crash care response.
Prince Agba added that with the expiration of the first version of the strategy in December 2018 it became imperative for a review giving birth to the second edition which will run till 2023. The plan holistically targets exploring avenues and strategies necessary for the prevention of the tragedies recorded d on the Nation’s highways.
The Minister Commended President Muhamadu Buhari (GCFR) for signing the Executive Order 7 on Road Infrastructure and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme in 2019 and this was targeted to incentivize private sector investment in Nigeria Roads across key economic corridors and industrial clusters amongst several other targeted interventions.
He urged all relevant stake holders to support these laudable efforts and abduct the Nigerian Road Safety Strategy NRSS II (2019- 2023) so as to jump start immediate roads and road infrastructure revolution that will be unprecedented in the history of our country.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu, in her welcome address said that NRSS II is a Medium Term Plan for road safety management which is aimed at providing diagnosis of the road Safety situation in Nigeria and also seeks to address current overlaps, streamline roles and responsibilities in order to maximise the benefit of investments in road transportation.