A Word For The FRSC By Faisal Mu'azu

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As I was driving to work this morning, I heard one Jonas Okwu, a spokesman for the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, saying that as from 1st of January 2015, drivers not wearing seatbelts will be arrested.

On the surface that’s a commendable initiative. Long overdue, even. But against a more general, deeper look at the Corps and its methods, one can clearly see the mindset of its management at play once again.

It does appear to meet that the Corps isn’t really interested in its core function of hands-on activities towards ensuring road safety but are rather fancying themselves as a paramilitary force of coercion.

Lately, everything the Corps initiate is tailored towards making life excruciatingly difficult for the motorist in Nigeria. If it’s not vehicle licence numbers, its Drivers licence. All not priorities and rather unnecessary. None is easy to obtain and the corps still “arrests” and fine vehicles and drivers over them. More than a year after coming into force, neither process has been perfected as yet. They are both faced with operational difficulty as if planning for them wasn’t done before implementation. And the Corps isn’t doing anything to ease that. I actually wonder if they ever prepare for any of the things they are all so eager to introduce. It’s safe to say they do not. Rather, they are always dreaming of another area to start “arresting” people. 

Someone should remind them of what they are statutorily set up to perform: ensuring the safety of life on the highways. Not money making and arresting people.

The FRSC isn’t a coercive force, they shouldn’t be turned into one.

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