The newly appointed Secretary Transportation Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration(FCTA), Comrade Kayode Opeifa, has solicited for closer collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in tackling various traffic challenges in the Territory.
Opeifa made the appeal when he paid a working visit to the corps Marshall of the FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi during the week.
the Secretary said the visit which was at the instance of the Minister of the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello was to further cement the existing bridge of cooperation between the Commission and FCTA.
He expressed the FCT Minister’s appreciation of the synergy that exist between the two Agencies and said the Administration wanted to take advantage of the Commission’s experiences in managing the tractable traffic challenges in the Territory especially during the peak hours.
The Secretary observed the prevalence of rickety vehicles on FCT roads and said the Administration would take advantage of the three Computerized Vehicle Testing Centres in Gwagwalada, Kugbo and Outer Northern Express way (ONEX) to ascertain the road worthiness of vehicles that ply FCT roads and drive out of the City those that fail the test.
He assured the Corps Marshall that more testing Centres would soon be opened in various parts of the Territory to satisfy the demands from the residents and make Abuja roads the safest in the country.
On the pioneering efforts of the FRSC in standardizing driver’s license in Nigeria, Opeifa commended the collaboration that exists between the Administration and the Commission over the past six years and called for harmonization of any grey areas between the two Agencies.
Describing driver’s License as the ‘most authentic Nigerian document’ in the hands of Nigerians today, he called for the strengthening of the issuance process and stated that efforts are being made to make Abuja the leading driver’s license centre in Nigeria.
He however informed the Corps Marshall of his drive to make a positive change in the Territory’s traffic challenges within three months and solicited for cooperation of the officers of the Corps with the Directorate of Road Traffic Officers to achieve the target.
Responding, the Corps Marshall, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi congratulated Opeifa on his appointment as the new Secretary of Transportation Secretariat urging him to replicate the successes he recorded in Lagos State where he served as commissioner of Transport for four years and Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Transport for four years.
Oyeyemi noted that the appointment of Opeifa to Transportation Secretariat of the FCTA came at a time when the Transportation Sector of the Territory needed the services of a tested hand to chart a new direction for the sector and urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bear on his new assignment.
He urged the Secretary to look into the issue of pedestrian bridge usage as many pedestrians in the City still prefer to dash across the roads even where the facilities are available thereby risking their lives. He also spoke on traffic light violators, road worthiness of many vehicles plying the roads, provision of road signage and signals, abuse of purpose clauses for the use of vehicles, abuse of learner’s permit and encouragement of non motorized transportation in the Territory.
The Corps Marshall reminded the Secretary that the responsibility of regulating and certifying driving Schools in the country have been ceded to states.
He urged the Transportation Secretariat to take particular notice of learners who carry passengers while flagging the learner’s permit barge.
He also called for the establishment of testing and driving ranges in the Territory for proper testing of drivers before they are certified.
He assured of his Commission’s readiness to synergize with the FCT Administration to tackle the numerous traffic challenges in the Territory and collaborated with the Secretary that marked difference must be made within three months.