Sunday, 1 March 2015

Anambra State Moves to Impound Rickety Vehicles, Trains Over 400 Drivers




Okechukwu Onuegbu

As high rate of road traffic crashes appeared to be the major challenge facing Nigeria’s transport industry, the Anambra State government has embarked on training and retraining of corporate and commercial drivers and vehicle testing scheme with a view to reducing fatalities and loss of investment.

In a workshop which was held last week Friday at the Suncity Exclusive Hotel, Awka, by the State Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the Transport Company of Anambra State (TRACAS), the state government vowed to restrain what it termed ”rickety and unworthy” vehicles from operating on the highways.

This was even as the State Ministry of Transport in collaboration with Adex Consultancy Services and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) earlier engaged on extensive research into the causes of road traffic accidents and the best strategies to reducing them.

Speaking at the epoch-making event, the Anambra State Commissioner for Transport, Chief Chu’ma Mbonu lamented that accidents result to “loss of precious lives and property, attendant grief and mourning”, but posited that they were caused and not destined.

Chief Mbonu, who tasked road users on proper maintenance of their vehicles to ensure their roadworthiness before travelling, averred that the ministry has mobilized Vehicle Inspection Officers, a group it charged to place vehicles found unworthy off the road and force their owners to remedy the noted defects prior to paying heavy fines.

According to him, vehicle test was designed to ascertain the roadworthiness of all public/private and commercial vehicles that ply our roads and ensure their conformity to road safety standards.

“Whatever we do to reduce the spate of road traffic accidents will in turn translate into less lives being lost, less injuries and lower expenditure on hospital bills, burial expenses, insurance premiums, purchase of new vehicles and repair of damaged ones and off course, a safer and healthier environment”, he said.

The Transport Commissioner stressed that the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano was committed to improve on the road network and road furniture, lives and properties of the populace, and solicited for the supports of the citizenry in order to realise the dreams.

On his part, the State Commandant of the Road Safety Commission, Mr. Sunday Ajayi, reiterated the needs for road users to copiously abide by the rules and regulations guarding road traffics.

In a keynote address, the General Manager of TRACAS Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Tony Ileka, said the workshop would contribute immensely to enhancing the competence and capabilities of over 400 drivers of the company, in a similar vein the union impact the lives of “Safety Officers/Managers” operating in their various park/depots through constant training.

However, Mr. Ileka disclosed that the company comply with the Road Transport Safety Standardization Scheme as enshrined in the National Road Traffic Regulation (NRTR2004) culminating in the certification of it by the FRSC in Class C group A under the RTSSC, and advised drivers to ensure that their vehicles meet the RTSS standard of road worthiness.

He further praised the state government for re-introducing Vehicle Inspection Officers, road signs and symbols and pledged that his workers would never violate the act. 

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Ferdinand Obi, called on corporate companies, organizations, philanthropists, individuals and commercial drivers to join in convening similar training so as to adequately train and retrain Nigerians on the rudiments of defensive driving, right attitude and conduct on roads.

Drivers who scaled through the exercise were issued with Driver Competence Certificates, while the vehicles found worthy were issued Vehicle Test Certificate and Roadworthiness Sticker.


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