30th August, 2010
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lagos State Driversâ€™ Institute, Mr. Ayodeji Oyedokun says that though the school is for now retraining professional drivers, it is concerned about first line drivers.
Oyedokun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that the institute was collaborating with driving schools to ensure that their graduates would be well equipped to face the challenges of Nigerian roads.
According to him, part of the mandate of the state government for setting up the Driversâ€™ Institute is to rectify, assist and upgrade private driving schools in the state.
â€œWe have to assist to train their instructors, we have the train-the-trainers courses and we have been meeting with them on the way forward. We have trained some of their proprietors and we have even used some of the proprietors to retrain some of our instructors,â€ he said, adding that not all driving schools were being run by quacks.
â€œIf we continue with the people that are already licensed to drive and leave the first line drivers (or learner drivers) unattended to, they will be brought up to become another menace for us,â€ Oyedokun said.
He said that the institute was already helping driving schools with audio visual materials and would send its driversâ€™ curriculum to them very soon as it was still being printed.
According to him, the curriculum includes chapters on what it takes to be a good driver, responsibilities of a driver to himself, to the vehicle, to the environment and to his passengers or cargo.
â€œA driver must know that he has to be physically and mentally fit and should avoid use of drugs and alcohol,â€ Oyedokun said, adding that the institute was also equipped to rehabilitate mentally challenged drivers.
He said that the institute also has courses for drivers of articulated vehicles as well as bullion vans, noting that the heavy human and material losses from accidents involving these category of vehicles, trailers and tankers, could be drastically reduced through the retraining of their drivers.
According to Oyedokun, the Driversâ€™ Institute, with centres in Epe, Ikorodu, Lagos Island, Ikeja and Badagry, has retrained 7,500 professional drivers in its first year of operation.
He added, however, that private vehicle owners who drive themselves could approach any of the instituteâ€™s centres for a one-day refresher course as â€œno knowledge is lost.â€