By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—The Minister of Transportation, Senator Idris Umar, has said that the introduction of new commercial driver’s license will assist in tackling the issue of insecurity currently confronting the country.
Senator Umar who stated this during the launching of driver’s license, yesterday, in Abuja, noted that the document will add value to collective search for national security especially with improved security features such as biometrics, intelligent camera and a central print farm that prevents counterfeiting and parallel production.
Umar who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mallam Bala Diko, further described the initiative as additional stride towards making Nigerian roads free of accuidents.
The minister added that driver’s license serves as a security document which confirms the competence of drivers within global circles hence the need to certify and ensure the competence of commercial drivers who convey passengers from one point to another.
Also speaking, the House Leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande described the new commercial driver as significant because “it symbolizes the commitment of the FRSC as lead agency in road safety management and administration in Nigeria to ensure sanity on our roads through a credible licensing system”.
She added that the need to enthrone global best practices in our licensing system informed the earlier intervention by the two chambers of the National Assembly in the new vehicle licensing regime as initiated by the FRSC.
Hon. Akande expressed her delight that the Corps has delivered on its mandate through seamless procurement of the new driver’s license and introduction of more stringent measures for the procurement of the commercial classes of driver’s license in order to ensure credibility and responsible conduct of drivers who operate with such classes of license.
She said, “ we must insist that holders of commercial driver’s license should be those that we know and have their proper records in the national data base; they should be those that belong to the various driving unions and who can be identified and traced as the case may be, so that the anonymity of those that cause deaths and injuries on the roads can be removed”.
In an earlier presentation, the FRSC Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, Osita Chidoka said that tankers and trailers contribute to 40% of road crash fatalities in the country. He also said that 5,537 deaths were recorded in 6,012 crashes involving tankers between 2007 and 2010.
According to him, buses also caused 5,583 deaths in 5,828 road crashes while small vehicles accounted for 1,154 deaths in 2,094 road crashes within the same period (2007-2010) thus justifying the need for initiatives such as the commercial driver’s license which brings to bear, the medical status of drivers and other relevant data aimed at injecting order and sanity in the transport sector.