Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, has called for increased public sensitisation on road signs to enhance safety on the nation’s highways.
Mustapha made the call when a delegation from the Road Safety Secretariat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) visited him in Abuja on Monday.
The delegation, led by the UNECE Economic Affairs Officer (Transport Division), Mr Robert Nowak, is in the country for a capacity building programme on implementation of the United Nations Road Safety Legal Instruments.
At least 200 officials from road traffic administration agencies at the federal and state levels will undergo the training to be hosted by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mustapha said the frequent disregard for road traffic signs, signals and laws in the country was a major cause of accidents on the highways.
The SGF, whose office supervises the FRSC, said building the capacity of road safety officials was a welcome development.
He said the training would help FRSC officials to continually checkmate the excesses of motorists.
He said the Federal Government’s investment on road infrastructure could only become meaningful if the public made good use of the roads.
“We have invited all managers of road transportation from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory for this particular capacity building programme.
“We expect that the knowledge and skills they will acquire would be translated into action in their various jurisdictions to continue to sensitise our people on the need to obey traffic rules and respect road signs.
“There are traffic signs all over the roads, but we completely disregard them and that is a major cause of accidents on our roads.
“So, I believe that by the time they go back to their states, they will be able to cascade this information down to the people.
“And we would have a better road management system in place,’’ he said.
The Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, said the capacity building workshop was preparatory to the domestication of the UN conventions on road signs by the country.
Oyeyemi said, “the programme is also aimed at training all our directors of highways, state traffic management agencies, senior directors of the Federal Ministry of Works and officers of the FRSC.
“So, about 200 people are going to benefit from the programme fully sponsored by the United Nations.
“It is a positive development, and this is the first in Africa.
“It is a fallout of the 7th Annual Lecture Series of the FRSC of which UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety was the guest speaker.
“The SGF has set a target for us that by March, we should finish the domestication of the six UN conventions as they relate to road signs and signals.’’
The six conventions cover road traffic rules, road signs and signals, construction and technical inspection of vehicles and road infrastructure development.
Others are: driving times and rest periods for professional drivers, and safe transport of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. (NAN)