….As Info boss pledges heighten advocacy support for FRSC
By Lawrence Ekong
The Akwa Ibom State Government has received commendations from the Federal Road Safety Corps ( FRSC ) over the lower number of road crashes recorded in the state.
The commendation was given today by the Akwa Ibom State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Corp Commandant O. S. Ochi during an advocacy visit by the command hierarchy on the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Uyo, the state capital.
The Information Commissioner stated that the drastic reduction in road crashes within the state was as a result of the homogeneous and deliberate investments made by the state government in the provision of the quality road network which he noted has greatly influenced safer driving culture amongst motorists and other road users in the state.
While lauding the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his massive road construction initiatives and his Operation Zero Portholes Campaign especially in the state capital, he added that the present administration has constructed over 1, 700 Km of roads and bridges across every Local Government Area ( LGA ) thus enhancing rural accessibility and stimulating economic activities.
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The Info Boss explained that road construction and expansions remains one of the ways the state Akwa Ibom State Government was adopting in linking up the hinterlands as well as to also boost economic participation between the citizens of the state and those from the neighbouring states. He further assured that the Udom Emmanuel’s administration would continue to pay premium attention to the development of road infrastructure in the state for the overall benefit of the citizenry.
The State Spokesman also said that for the near-zero road crashes record to be sustained by the state, there was need for information sharing amongst the sectors’ stakeholders and the FRSC. He posited that it was important for the officers of the agency to emphasis more on safer driving culture through a robust driving orientation and licensing in place of punitive measures which he noted has continued to pitch the officers against most motorist who are usually hostile and defensive at the sight of the officials.
While espousing on the attitude of some road users, Comrd. Ememobong stated that it was much easier and simpler to educate and inform road users about causes of road accident than the usual enforcement of road traffic rules which he added has oftentimes created enmity between officials of FRSC and the road users.
The Info helmsman who described the visit by the Akwa Ibom State FRSC sector hierarchy as thoughtful and timely sued for more of such strategic collaboration in the future. He said that his Ministry was ready to partner the agency in the areas of mass advocacy and road safety campaigns in order to equip the people with the necessary safety knowledge while using the road.
While commending the Akwa Ibom State Sector Commander for his gallant efforts at ensuring that motorists in the state obey highway codes as well as enjoy seamless flow of traffic, he equally stressed on the need to pay more attention to due diligence and adoption of a systematic approach in addressing traffic issues and defaulters of the highway codes without breaching their fundamental human rights in the cause of actions.
Comrd. Ememobong assured his guests that the Government of Akwa Ibom State through the Ministry of Information and Strategy was ready to assist the Federal Government agency by given their advocacy materials and publications a wider reach as part of their mutual collaboration to sustain the tempo of achievement recorded in the sector.
Speaking at the occasion and the leader of the delegation, the FRSC Commandant, Akwa Ibom State Command. O. S Ochi said that the purpose of the visit to the Info Boss was to solicit continuous cooperation between the Akwa Ibom motorists, the state ministry of information and the FRSC Akwa Ibom state Sector Command. He said that the team was in the Ministry to leverage on the existing relationship between the two establishments for the benefit of the motorist’s community in the state.
Ochi also scored the Akwa Ibom State Government high on the provision of road infrastructure across the 31 Local Government Areas. He further revealed that plans were underway by the FRSC to heighten Ember months Campaign for motorists and other road users for greater awareness and compliance with the highway codes.
The Sector Commander also hinted that as parts of the ongoing programme by the FRSC to have her officers in all the 774 LGAs in the country, the Akwa Ibom State command had since deployed its personnel to manned the expanded units for effective monitoring of roads users and swift response to emergencies.
While commending the Information Commissioner for co-opting the FRSC in the state Into the state Strategic Information Management Team, the FRSC boss used the occasion to extend an invitation to Comrd. Ememobong as Guest Speaker for the Flag Off of Mobilisation Campaign for the Sensitisation of Road Users in the state which he said is billed to take place on the 4th of November, 2020.
Also present at the event was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Inyang Jamson, FRSC Akwa Ibom State Sector Public Enlightenment Officer, Mr Jonah Agwu, Directors in the Ministry and senior officials of the FRSC in the state.
The highpoint of the occasion was the exchange of mementoes between the host and the visitors.