By Aisha Cole/Lagos
Corps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos said West Africa leads the world in road crashes and fatalities.
Ogungbemide made the disclosure at the commemoration of the 2021 West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO) Day in Lagos on Saturday.
The theme of 2021 WARSO is “Road Safety Consciousness in the Midst of Global Pandemic’’.
Ogungbemide said WARSO is the implementation of FRSC policies in West Africa and that only 37 out of 44 countries in Africa are committed to the organisation’s mission.
“On the average, 18 deaths are recorded out of 100,000 and the population of West Africa vehicular volume stands at two per cent compared to the entire world.
“It is quite unfortunate that the rate of crashes and fatalities in West Africa stands at 16 per cent out of the two per cent vehicles compared to the world, which means we contribute enormously to crashes compared to the number of vehicles owned by West Africa.
“That is why our decision as a region is in line with the FRSC which serves as a lead agency for so many years being able to drop the rate of crashes in Nigeria, let the entire West African Counties key into this.
“The truth of the matter is that we have a road linkage. People travel from Nigeria through Seme, from Togo to Ghana and so on while the road crashes on these roads are enormous.
“If Nigeria can play this lead role, why not extend it to the entire West Africa? That is what gave birth to WARSO,” Ogungbemide explained.
He said that before now, road traffic crashes were the highest contributors to the rate of death in West Africa.