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Amaechi in the eye of the storm at a time of road deaths

07 March 2016, 20:36Israel Ojoko

Lagos - Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi is no doubt in the eye of the storm following two road accidents involving top government officials within 24 hours.

Minister of State for Labour James Ocholi on Sunday died alongside his wife and son on the Kaduna-Abuja road following a car crash.

Less than 24 hours, Yobe state deputy governor Abubakar Ali was on Monday involved in an auto accident along the Kaduna- Kano expressway.

18 other people were burnt to death in a fatal motor accident that occurred on Sunday at Buzaye village in Bauchi State along Bauchi-Jos Road, involving a DAF Truck with registration number XC 675 BAU and an 18 seater Toyota Hiace bus with registration number BAU 148 XR.

These fatal incidents on highways is as a result of bad road that calls for worry, with the transportation minister now under the spotlight following the two latest famous cases.

Beyond Minister Ocholi's death, what many Nigerians did not know was that on the same day more than 100 other people died as a result of car crashes in Nigeria. Using the World Health Organization's recent data, Nigeria has one of the worst road traffic safety record, ranking 149th out of 184 countries studied by the World Health Organization.

Though the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) are planning to train drivers of political appointees, but with a bad road, a good driver can only do little.

Also read: 53 killed as bus collides with tomato truck

The Western Hemisphere averages 6 per 100,000 fatalities and Nigeria stand at about 618 per 100,000 fatalities attributable to road crashes.

Maternal mortality in Nigeria is same number as road fatalities, that is about 600 deaths per 100,000 live births.

If the government constantly fail to fix the highways, expand them and enforce traffic rules on its usage, the numbers would only go up, as population increases.

According to the American Society for Orthopedic and Trauma Surgeons, over 50% of road traffic accident victims can survive if they get medical attention between 7 - 10 minutes.

This means there is need for provision of adequate and functional medical facilities on the highways, the FRSC officials must be trained in advanced trauma and life support techniques, their vehicles must have facilities for emergency transfusions and minor surgical procedures on sight.

Amaechi seems to have given more attention to the aviation and maritime sectors of his ministry, but he may now have to concentrate fully on the roads as the population of users are far more than any other means of transportation in Nigeria.

Amaechi and his ministry must swing into action and fix the highways to prevent further death of any road user.

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- News24


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