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FG plans new vehicle safety policy

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The Federal Government has revealed plans to introduce a new policy in the transport sector in order to enhance full compliance in the use of vehicle safety kits by motorists.

The Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali, made this known in Abuja on Thursday during a sensitisation programme on road safety and use of automobile safety kits organised by the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria.

During the programme organised in collaboration with the West Africa Automobile Services Limited, a company registered in Egypt to produce safety kits, the minister revealed that countless lives could be saved if drivers abode by simple road etiquettes.

The minister, who was represented by the Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration in the ministry, Musa Ibrahim, said, “This initiative is a welcome development. We want to thank President Bola Tinubu for creating an investment atmosphere to allow the our brothers from West Africa Automobile Services Limited come to the country to invest.

 “We will ensure that in no distance time, we  put in a policy to aid the use of safety kit and make the scheme a success. We know the number of lives that would have been saved if there were safety kits.”

President, RTEAN, Musa Maitakobi, said the intention of the collaboration and launch of the kits was to transfer the investment to the Nigerian economy.

Maitakobi, who was represented by the Deputy RTEAN President, Muhammad Bushara, noted that by strategically partnering with businesses, individuals, and community organisations, the association aims to raise awareness on the importance of automobiles safety kits in vehicles.

He said, “We would encourage car owners and drivers to equip their vehicles with comprehensive safety kits, educate individuals about the essential components that contribute to a well-equipped safety kit, and promote safe driving practices and responsible ownership by emphasising the importance of preventive measures.

“The launch of this initiative is a significant milestone for us. It represents our unwavering dedication to promoting road safety and reducing the occurrence of preventable accidents. We are confident that by making these safety kits easily accessible to all vehicle owners, both private, state and federal government, we can make a substantial impact on protecting lives and enhancing the overall safety culture within our country,”

In his remarks, the CEO of West Africa Automobile Services, Ahmed Hafez, said their collaboration with RTEAN marks a significant stride towards ensuring the safety of the 16 million members spread across Nigeria’s 36 states.

“We need collective support from all government bodies to ensure the availability and, most importantly, the utilisation of these safety kits. Enforcement transforms safety from a concept into a practice, emphasizing prevention over reaction.

“Our phased approach will leverage the Africa Free Trade Agreement, initiating the supply from Egypt. Subsequently, we plan to invest over $10m in establishing a factory here in Nigeria, a move that will not only create job opportunities but also reduce costs for this impactful project”, he noted.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero, who was represented by his Senior Legislative Aide said it was the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that every effort is made to prevent road tragedies from occurring.

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