6th February, 2012
The Federal Government and road safety experts have decried the increasing rate of road accident in the country and called for proactive measures to reduce the carnage.
At an interactive session with a team of road safety experts and directors of road safety based non-government organisations, in Abuja, Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, lamented that road traffic crashes in the country had now become a secondary burden of the Federal Ministry of Health and a significant part of public health concern.
He said the Federal Government was ready to work with stakeholders on road safety matters to reduce accidents on the nation’s highways, stressing that efforts to achieve a reduction in road traffic injuries and death is a collective one.
Chukwu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele said “all stakeholders must be brought together to work on stopping the carnage on Nigerian roads.
Executive Director and Founder, Temidayo Ogan Child Safety and Support Foundation, TOCSS, Mrs. Temidayo Ogan, who led the delegation of road safety experts to the Ministry of Health, requested that injuries and deaths caused by road traffic crashes should be viewed as a primary burden of the health sector.
She said: “Statistics has revealed that1.3 million people were killed and over 50 million people injured annually around the world as a result of Road Traffic Crashes, RTC. RTC has become the fifth leading cause of death in the world, killing more than Malaria and Tuberculosis.
“We are asking that injuries and deaths caused by TRC in Nigeria should be further researched in order to set priority on National Health Plan.
“There is a projection that if something radical is not done to reduce the spate of road crashes in Nigeria and around the world by 2030, RTC will become the leading cause of death,” she stated.
Ogan added that to achieve the five pillars, which make up the action plan for the United Nations Decade of Actions for Road Safety (2011-2020) in Nigeria, there must be a political will by the Federal Government, State Governments and the Local Governments, backing up the effort of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, NGOs and road safety coalition.