The federal government has listed bad roads, bad state of cars and bad drivers, as reasons why it is yet to achieve its target of 50 per cent reduction in road crashes in the country.
Minister of state for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, gave the explanation yesterday at the joint press conference and opening ceremony of the 2018 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, in Abuja.
The minister, in his remarks, stressed the need for every stakeholder to ensure that they sit up to get things right to achieve reduction in road crashes.
According to him, it is unfortunate that the nation’s target to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in road crash has not been achieved, instead deaths and crashes continue to be on the increase.
He said developed countries have achieved reduction in road safety crashes and deaths because they abide by the road safety laws.
He called on the Ministry of Works and Housing to build and design good roads and ensure proper maintenance of roads.
On their part, the national focal person, United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety and Injury Prevention in Nigeria, Dr Sydney Ibeanusi, said that Nigeria loses more than its annual budget due to road crashes.
He noted that 90 per cent of the activities in Nigeria are carried out on the road hence, the need to ensure the safety of the roads.
Annually, he added, 1.3 million deaths occur globally and a latest report soon to be published shows that it has increased to 1.4 million deaths.
According to him, achieving a reduced number of road crashes in the country is achievable and it will help to increase the nation’s GDP hence. And if countries like 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 hands must 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 infrastructure and roads are put in order, the nation was not ready 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.