Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma has inaugurated Advisory Council on Road Safety in Imo State with a charge on members to work in tandem with global best practices in the management and prevention of road crashes in the State.
Governor Uzodimma spoke at the New Executive Council Chambers Government House Owerri Wednesday when he inaugurated the Council with the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku as Chairman.
Other members include: Commissioner for Transport, Commissioner for Works, Commissioner for health, Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Education, Commissioner of Finance; Commissioner of Environment and Commissioner for Budget and Planning.
Others are Nigerian Society of Engineers and the FRSC Sector Commander.
According to the Governor, “the aim of putting in place Advisory Council on Road Safety in Imo State is to reduce the number of road crashes by 50% percent by year 2030 which will also meet the global best practices.”
He said the State government has done a lot to ensure that the roads in the state are relatively in good shape and hitch free for driving by motorists, warning that “the sale of alcoholic drinks at the various motor parks in the State is hereby prohibited.”
The Governor said the resolve to curb the frequent accidents on the major highways led to the engagement of world class contractors to dualize Owerri-Orlu and Owerri-Okigwe roads, in addition to the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of over 46 roads in his first year in office.
In an effort to align itself with global best practices in the management and prevention of road crashes, the Governor explained that the State has in place traffic wardens who regularly watch out for reckless driving, particularly within the metropolitan areas.
“The State government had put in place Solar-powered traffic lights to control the movement of vehicles at critical junctions, to ensure the safety of motorists. In addition, our major roads are being properly marked for ease of compliance with traffic rules by vehicle drivers.”
He added that: “The above measures are aimed at meeting world best practices on road safety. This is anchored on existing multi-sectoral and holistic approach to road safety management which is being driven by the United Nations. Under it there are five pillars aimed at managing the strategy. These are Road Safety Management, Safer Vehicles, Safer road Users, Post Crash Response and Safer Driving Environment.”
For efficiency, the Governor directed the council to focus on the five strategic pillars as enumerated above.
“In the same vein, they should liaise with the Ministry of Transport and synergize with vehicle Inspection unit in its operation to ensure that vehicles are fit to ply the Imo roads.”
The governor also mandated the Ministry of Health to ensure that ambulances are stationed on major roads to respond promptly to emergencies.
He pointed out that the order was as a result of the recklessness of drivers, particularly the commercial ones and the State of the vehicles plying the roads.
The Governor had earlier in his address highlighted the unfortunate statistics from the Federal Road Safety Corps on the number of people who die in Nigeria from road accidents every year which he said is more than those who die from deadly diseases, hence the importance of the State Road Safety Council.
He reminded Imo people of the traditional ember months with the attendant frequent road crashes and the consequent loss of precious lives that follows it.
“To check the excuses always peddled for the carnages on our roads such as recklessness of drivers, particularly the commercial ones, rickety condition of the vehicles and the condition of our roads, therefore the best season to inaugurate the advisory council is in this ember months.”
Responding on behalf of the Advisory Council, the Chairman, Prof Placid Njoku observed the critical nature of the job and its importance to the government and people of Imo State and thanked the Governor for finding them worthy of the assignment and assured that they will work assiduously to deliver on the mandate.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor