Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said his administration will give priority attention to the safety of lives and property of the citizens, saying this would be demonstrated through the implementation of various policies and strategies aimed at making roads in the state safer for all.
Governor Sanwo-Olu stated this while inaugurating the State Road Safety Advisory Council (SaRSAc) at Lagos House, Marina, saying the state, as a sub-national government, had been in the fore-front in the implementation of global road safety strategies, including the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety which ended in 2020.
The SaRSAc chaired by the governor, with the deputy governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat being the alternate chairman, has membership, including the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederick Oladeinde; Commissioner for Works; Engineer Aramide Adeyoye; Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, among other principal road safety stakeholders, and is charged with the responsibility of setting the State Road Safety Strategy target(s) in line with the NRSS.
The council is also charged with the responsibilities of driving the implementation of the NRSS, ensuring co-ordination between states and local governments in achieving Road Safety targets, Evaluation of outcomes of National road safety initiatives, Development of a funding plan for strategic initiatives, fund sourcing for implementation of strategic initiatives, among others.
Governor Sanwo-Olu pointed out that part of the strategies the state is implementing through the newly inaugurated Council include ensuring that, “Our roads infrastructure complies with the global standard for safety, capacity improvement of relevant agencies, including Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), and the state fire service.”
The governor, while congratulating the new body, noted that the ceremony was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to ensuring safety on the roads through the implementation of the National Road Safety Strategy II which encapsulates the key strategic elements that would provide direction for the 2019 – 2023 plan period.
He, therefore, expressed his appreciation to the deputy governor and members of the Council for accepting to serve the state and contribute their quota to making commuting on Lagos roads a more pleasant experience for everyone.
I thank you all for accepting to serve the state and contributing your quota to making commuting on our roads a more pleasant experience for everyone,” he said.
Earlier, the state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Oladeinde, said the day’s gathering bore eloquent testimony to the unflinching determination of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to walk the talk in the Transport Sector and see to the actualization of tangible deliverables in the sector.
He said the fact that Governor Sanwo-Olu was heading the Advisory Council was a pointer to his hands-on approach to leadership.
The commissioner, while noting that the official inauguration of SaRSAC was to further marshal apparatus towards solving the challenges of road safety in Lagos State, recalled that the country, in 2014, designed a strategy tagged: NRSS 2014-2018 to properly execute all prior efforts geared towards ensuring the safety of roads.
According to him, the NRSS also provided a framework towards developing and applying the missing blocks required to achieve the Road Safety Vision which cut across the safe systems approach and the Five (5) Pillars advocated by the UN Decade of Action (2011-2020), saying it was in realisation of this that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, back in 2017, as then Acting President inaugurated a 24-member National Road Safety Council for the country.
Oladeinde further said the inauguration of the body demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to addressing the challenges of road safety in the country, in line with the United Nations agenda to reduce road traffic accidents related deaths, even as he noted that road traffic accident is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world, with African continent being worst hit.
The commissioner, while congratulating members of the Council on their appointment, charged them to roll up their sleeves in getting the job done, pointing out that the stakes were just too high and failure was not an option.
He also enjoined every resident of Lagos to support the Council in every way possible as they take ownership of this brainchild which was created to save lives and property.
“Though congratulatory messages are in place, yet I want to encourage all the members of this Council to roll up our sleeves and with our eyes on the goal, we should get the job done. The stakes here are just too high and failure is not an option.
“I enjoin every resident of Lagos State to support this Council in every way possible as they take ownership of this brainchild which was created to save lives and property,” Oladeinde said.