Nigeria is one of the few African nations that has taken advantage of some road safety principles and, despite a gloomy beginning, has made tremendous progress in the administration and management of road safety. Nigeria’s road safety record was so appalling that it was previously ranked second to Ethiopia in the world for worst travel conditions by the World Health Organization. By establishing the Federal Road Safety Commission as the leading organization to ensure safety on every centimetre of Nigeria’s extensive 204,000 km of roads, the government was able to reverse this narrative. This formation took place ten years before the United Nations recommended that all of its members set up organizations directly under their national governments for freer functioning.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was established with the goal of eliminating traffic accidents on Nigerian roads, and this goal is founded on the idea that accidents are often avoidable. Can Nigerians assert with confidence that the Federal Road Safety Corps has established policies and launched programs and activities that are in harmony and consistent with global best practices on road traffic administration and safety management over the course of the past three decades or more given the statistics above regarding deaths, injuries, and property damage? Can we really declare that the paramilitary group has fulfilled its legal obligation to end traffic accidents on Nigerian roads? Can it be said that the FRSC adequately informed the driving public?
Corps will always remain the frontline agency in traffic regulations.
Since joining, the Federal Road Safety Corps has, in fact, blossomed on all sides thanks to strategic innovations and the sheer tenacity of its staff, becoming one of the most professional and reputable national institutions, as well as a global brand and an example of the best road safety operations and practices in Africa. The Federal Road Safety Corps has reduced the yearly record of crashes from over forty thousand collisions per year to below five thousand crashes at this time, starting on February 18, 1988, when the corps began full operational activities aimed at eliminating road traffic crashes.
In Nigeria, the Corps has been and always will be the primary authority on traffic laws. Being the leading government organization for traffic superintendent and guardianship and growing from a small beginning with its technical and management headquarters in Oyo State and the outpost and liaison office in a three-story building in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, with just a dozen staff and 200 youth corps members. They currently operate out of six locations and are evolving into a mega force among paramilitary organizations in Nigeria with thousands of members.
Road safety has become a reference point in excellent service delivery.
Through unheard-of advancements in information and communication technology and efficient operational tools, FRSC has expanded to become a benchmark for management and administration of road safety in Africa, an example of international best practices in its operations and a point of reference for excellent service delivery in Nigeria. The corps has also gained notoriety for its beginnings and development, which bear the stamp of Professor Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, who turned it into an idea and organization to behold. The Corps witnessed a formidable foundation-laying process, from the first Corps Marshal, Dr. Olu Agunloye, to Chief Osita Chidoka, all of whom were appointed from the civil population. This process sparked efficacy, efficiency, and pragmatism in the administration of road safety in Nigeria.
A final piece of this developmental puzzle was the appointment of career staff as corps marshals, from Boboye Oyeyemi to the current corps marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, whose intrinsic knowledge and expertise have given and continue to give the corps the push it needs to maintain its position at the top. The luscious development is that the FRSC has accomplished a great deal in its 35 years as the leading organization in traffic and safety management, including traffic engineering, road safety administration, traffic management, rescue operations, changing unsafe driving habits, and crash reduction. The road traffic management agency was able to accomplish this wonderful achievement because of a succession of pragmatist leaders, cunning of several management generations, creativity of its policy creators, and deftness of the handlers of policy execution.
The corps tend to strengthen its programmes to ensure safety in the nation.
These leaders have ingrained a rich culture of professionalism and excellence in service delivery within the corps, positioning it as the leading organization in road safety management and traffic administration with a passionate and steadfast commitment to establishing a safer driving environment that is unparalleled in the African sub-region. This unwavering dedication exerts pressure on the corps, driving it to enhance its strategies, programmes, knowledge, and procedures more than ever before in order to overcome any obstacles standing in the way of the effective and efficient management of safety in Nigeria.
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