Thursday, April 28, 2016 2:23 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government says about 240,000 vehicles plying roads in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria are not roadworthy and calls on vehicles owners to make effort to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy.
Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Dayo Mobereola disclosed this today at a news conference on the 2016 Bi-Annual Safety Week of the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Services, held at the State Government Secretariat.
The theme of this year’s Safety Week is “Unroadworthy (Rickety) Vehicles: Threat to Life on our Roads.
He said ensuring that vehicles were roadworthy had become a focal point of the ministry’s oversight function on the sector, saying it is germane because saving of one life was the single most important responsibility of any government.
The commissioner said statistics had shown that Africa had only two percent of world’s vehicle, but that in contrast, 16 percent of global vehicular deaths were traceable to Africa, adding that in that same study, Nigeria and South Africa had the highest fatality rates of 33.7 and 31.9 percent per 100,000 population yearly
“Our efforts at ensuring security include rehabilitating the roads, improving drivers’ competence, insisting through monitoring the state of vehicles and promoting attitudinal changes.
“Of the 45,037 vehicles apprehended last year, 8,012, about 20 percent were not roadworthy. This extended further means that about 240,000 of the 1.2 million are not roadworthy. It is in this wise that we say safety is not just a government thing, rather, it is for all citizens.
“When you maintain a vehicle you are guaranteeing a life. There are no economic arguments for allowing rickety vehicles just simply because we cannot place a premium or value on any life. The consequences outstrip the gains,” he said.
According to him, there were several health challenges created by the emissions from the rickety vehicles, as they were all respiratory in nature which could affect the lungs, adding that long hour of delay on the road also affected health.
The commissioner said the atmosphere is heating up and that carbon emission from vehicles contributed greatly to this.
“To address these challenges, government is determined to operate and regulate transportation to ensure safety. We have promoted new initiatives to ensure a public transporation system that will encourage people to leave their vehicles at home and use public transport,” he said.
However, Mobereola disclosed that the Safety Week would hold between 2 and 8 May, 2016, saying that during this period, Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO, would engage motorists at motor parks, companies with large pool of vehicles, schools and religious houses alike.
“Our focus will be to bring people to the realization that there is a need to maintain their vehicles. It is not only for themselves but for all other road users. It is then and only then that we can say we are ready for business. It is pertinent to say that for sanity to prevail on our roads, everyone of us must consider ourselves as stakeholders,” he added.