The Federal Road Safety Corps says it will not hesitate to sanction and prosecute fleet operators for non-compliance with safety standards across the country.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, said this during the 2023 annual safety managers retreat on Thursday in Abuja.
Biu, who was represented by the Assistant Corps Marshal, Ms Amuche Nwaka, said the Corps would no longer tolerate the failure of fleet operators to adhere strictly to the terms of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme.
The FRSC boss said the retreat was intended to appraise and address notable observations made by the Corps regarding the management of fleet operations in the country in the last year and associated consequences.
He said investigations revealed that most recorded fleet operations-related crashes in the country could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been committed to their roles.
“This retreat is, therefore, a wake-up call to all of us to further justify our roles as safety managers,” he said.
Biu said in the past few editions of the annual retreat, the Corps had consistently laid emphasis on areas of observed decline.
This, he said, was with regard to the general implementation of the RTSSS, particularly the issue of Speed Limiting Devices.
Biu said that at the most recent appraisal of public transportation in the country, the level of compliance remained unacceptably low.
“Specific lapses observed included non-installation of the Speed Limit Device (SLD), tampering with the already installed device, calibration above the approved speed limits, connivance with unscrupulous vendors for the issuance of compliance certificates without actual installation, and so on.
“These shall no longer be tolerated, as the Corps will not hesitate to sanction non-compliant operators henceforth,” he said.
Biu, who reflected on the outcome of the 2022 fleet operator certification exercise as well as the aforementioned observed gaps, said measures backed by law would come into force.
He said, “All observed non-compliant fleet operators in any of the identified areas will be served with pre-action notices for prosecution, and there is no going back on this.
“Fleet operators who refused to allow certification teams access to their premises will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
“Fleet operators who fail to meet certification standards twice will be suspended from operations.
“Certified vehicle stickers shall be issued only for vehicles installed with functional Speed Limiting Devices.”
Earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protective Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said it was imperative to recognise the gravity of RTCs in Nigeria and the profound impact they have on the lives of consumers.
Irukera, who was represented by a Director, FCCPC, Mrs Olubunmi Oti, said RTCs did not only resulted in the loss of lives and injuries but also imposed significant economic burdens on society.
“Through joint efforts, we can foster an environment where fleet operators prioritise the implementation of robust safety standards, contributing to the reduction of RTCs in Nigeria.
“The implementation of the Road Traffic Safety Standardisation Scheme (RTSSS) is a step in the right direction, and I commend the FRSC for its commitment to aligning with global best practices.
“It is, therefore, incumbent upon us, as regulatory bodies and stakeholders in the transportation industry, to continually update our knowledge and strategies to address this critical issue.
“The FRSC’s strategic goal of accomplishing a five per cent reduction in RTCs and injuries aligns seamlessly with the broader vision of ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of consumers in all sectors of our economy,” he said.
The high points of the event included goodwill messages by representatives of the National Director of Logistics, Dangote Cement Transport, the National Logistics Director, BUA Cement Transport, the President, and the Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association, among others.