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Road crashes becoming a burden — Report

Experts have decried the high rate of road accidents, calling for concerted efforts to reduce the fatalities. Daily Trust reports that road accidents have been…

Experts have decried the high rate of road accidents, calling for concerted efforts to reduce the fatalities.

Daily Trust reports that road accidents have been on the increase in Nigeria in the last six years, figures from the Federal Road Safety Corps and international groups such as the World Bank and World Health Organisation indicated.

This is coming despite efforts by government interventionist agencies, including the FRSC, to address the menace of road crashes in the country.

The Nigeria Auto Journal published by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association in a report titled, ‘High Road Crashes, Burden of a Nation’, the World Health Organisation puts the number of people killed yearly via road accidents in Nigeria at 41,693, which is 2.82 per cent of the global total.

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It reported the World Bank as saying 30,800 deaths are recorded on Nigerian roads annually.

The report read in part, “Local statistics show a total of 32,617 people died in 65,053 on Nigerian roads from 2016 to 2021, as revealed by Mr. Ayobami Omiyale, a retired assistant corps marshal of the FRSC at a recent retreat by the commission in Lagos.

“Quoting from the FRSC official statistics, he said 5,053 lives were lost in 2016, while 5,121 and 5,181 lives were cut short in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In 2019 and 2020, about 5,483 and 5,574 lives were also lost respectively while 6,205 lives perished in 2021.

“The National Bureau of Statistics, relying on the FRSC data, revealed that 1,834 people died in 3,345 road accidents in the country between January and March 2022.”

Chief Executive Officer, Safety Beyond Borders, Mr Patrick Adenusi, explained that many road accidents recorded in the night, especially in northern Nigeria, are hardly reported.

The Lagos Sector Commander of the FRSC, Segun Ogungbemide,  exonerated the corps from the rising road crashes, saying they have the capacity to address only 16 per cent of the problem.

“The one that will give more impact is to keep policies and regulations in place to prevent the crashes from happening,” he said.

But the report notes that road marshals, vehicle inspection officers (VIOs) and highway police as well as state traffic law enforcers are no longer as effective as they used to be, saying many safety campaigns and strategies by the FRSC to curtail road crashes have either disappeared or played down.

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