The federal government has explained reasons why it is yet to achieve its target of 50% reduction in road crashes in the country.
Minister of State for health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Friday at the joint press conference and opening ceremony of the 2018 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Abuja.
While blaming bad roads, bad state of cars and bad state of drivers as the cause of road crashes, he stressed that every stakeholder should ensure that they sit up to get things right and achieve a reduction in road crashes.
According to him, it was unfortunate that the nation’s target to achieve a 50 percent reduction in road crash has not been achieved, instead deaths and crashes were on the increase.
He said the developed countries have achieved the reduction in road safety crashes and deaths because they abide by the road safety laws.
He also called on the Ministry of Works and Housing to build and design good roads and ensure proper maintenance.
On their part, The National Focal person, United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety and Injury Prevention in Nigeria, Dr. Sydney Ibeanusi has said that Nigeria loses more than its annual budget due to road crashes.
He noted that 90 percent of the activities in Nigeria are carried out on the road hence the need to ensure the safety of the roads.
He said annually, 1.3 million deaths occur globally and a latest report soon to be published shows that it has increased to 1.4 million deaths which make it difficult to achieve the nation’s urge to reduced deaths by 50 percent.
According to him, achieving a reduced number of road crashes in the country is achievable as it will help to increase the nation’s GDP hence, if other countries such as Tanzania could achieve it, Nigeria can.
Ibeanusi pointed out that most of the victims of the crashes were young people between the ages of 15 – 19 which he said was a thing of concern and all hand should be on deck to end the issue of road crashes.
On his part, Officer-in-Charge, World Health Organisation, Nigeria country office, Dr. Clement Peter said until the infrastructures and roads are put in order, the nation was not yet to end the menace of Road Traffic Crash.
He said there was the need to strictly ensure that only road worthy cars were put to the road to avoid crashes hence road users should also ensure that they adhere strictly to the road safety laws.