The Accountability Lab Nigeria, in conjunction with the Akin Fadeyi Foundation, held a roundtable on traffic ethics reform with the Federal Road Safety Corps on Thursday at the Federal Capital Territory Sector Command in Abuja.
On the occasion, FRSC officials, police officers, National Union of Road Transport Workers officials and some driving school instructors attended to improve the handling of drivers and safety officials, which would lead to the reduction of corrupt practices on the road.
The Country Director, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Odeh Friday, stressed that Nigerian road users can improve their road use ethics if they receive the right guidance.
Friday said: “I believe that with the right guidance, Nigerian drivers can be active advocates for road safety. We need to find ways to foster favorable relationships between drivers and road safety officials.”
The FRSC’s FCT sector commander, Mr. Ochi, noted that the force was focused on influencing road users rather than mere enforcement.
He said: “At the FRSC, our focus is on influencing road users and not just enforcement. Each of us has a role to play in influencing the level of common sense on Nigeria’s highways.”
The event was moderated by the Head of Programs, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Ms. Oluwatomi Okeowo, who held a session on road user behavior and associated risks.
Okeowo noted that about 1,700 people were killed in road accidents between 2020 and 2021, while more than 10,200 were injured in similar circumstances during those years.
She said: “As of 2020 and 2021, about 1,700 people were killed and 10,200 were injured in road accidents. But despite countless violations by Nigerian road users, many of them see law enforcement as the problem. So how can we change the status quo in traffic ethics?”
A Divisional Police Officer, CSP Harrison, denounced the high level of lawlessness on Nigeria’s roads.
Harrison noted that the average Nigerian road user, especially the elites, needed to improve their road use ethics.
He said: “As a DPO, there’s nothing I haven’t seen on our roads. From one-way streets to unauthorized u-turns. Interestingly, defaulters often resort to begging when they get caught. Our people, especially the elites, have to do better.”