The Gombe State Government has inaugurated the Road Safety Advisory Council to reduce deaths and destruction from road crashes.
The Council is a replicate of the National Road Safety Advisory Council, which is borne out of the call by the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, as Nigeria’s response to provide clear direction in achieving the vision for road crashes and as part of efforts to reduce fatalities from road crashes to the barest minimum.
It is made up of relevant government agencies and departments, such as the Ministries of Works, Justice, Transport, Health, Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Federal Road Safety Corps, among others.
Inaugurating the council in Gombe, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jattau, who doubles as the Chairman of the council, said, the council would promote the establishment of a central database of road traffic, renew and upgrade road design standards, promote the construction and maintenance of road and the road networks to meet the mobility and access to road by road users.
He said the council would also build capacity for comprehensive inspection of all vehicles, create awareness on the proper use of road, improve responsiveness to post crash emergencies and the identify, as well as deploy funds to identified strategic initiatives.
“The Road Safety Advisory Council shall amongst other duties, set state road safety strategy targets in lie with the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, ensure coordination between the state and local governments in achieving road safety targets, review monitoring and evaluation report as submitted by the Federal Road Safety Corps for effective coordination of road safety programmes, perform annual review of the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, oversee aspects that relates to road safety enforcement of 10% of the National Road Fund, among others,” Dr. Jattau said.
The Corps Commander of the Federal Road Safety Command in Gombe State, Dr. Godwin Omiko, said Gombe State was representing the North East in the National Council and as such commended the efforts of the state government for being the second state in the country to inaugurate the council.
“Also, instructive to note that the National Council directed that the states establish the state advisory councils and that of all the 36 plus one states that we have, Gombe State, let me say is the first to approve, but unfortunately, last week, we were overtaken by Kwara in their own inauguration. So, fully, Gombe State is the second state to inaugurate their Road Safety Advisory Council. So, it is a very big task for the members and we hope we will achieve that,” Dr. Omiko said.
Records have it that 1.3 million deaths and 50 million serious injuries are recorded annually all over the world, due to road crashes.
Consequent to this realisation, the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety was convened in 2009 in Russia to arrest the growing menace of unchecked and preventable consequences.
A call was made at the conference in Russia, which was followed by a declaration of a Decade of Action on Road Safety in 2011 to 2020 by the United Nations General Assembly with the primary goal of reducing fatalities by a minimum of 50%.
The declaration also mandated every member country to put adequate measures and cohesive plan of action in place to address the scourge by the year 2020.
The Nigeria Road Safety Strategy captures the country’s response to the call made and provides a clear direction towards achieving the vision for Road Safety, “a country where road crashes results to no death.”
The Nigeria Road Safety Strategy is a concept document calling on all Nigerians to see road traffic crash as a public nuisance that needs to be tackled at the Federal, State and local government levels.
With that, the Nigerian Government approved the establishment of the National Road Safety Advisory Council, domiciled at the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, with the Vice President as the chairman and the Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps a Secretary.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Council called on members of the council, made up of relevant government ministries and departments to be committed to their responsibilities in order to achieve the vision of the National Road Safety Strategy, where road crashes result in no deaths.