As Nigerians prepare for the yuletide and the attendant travels, the Ford Foundation’s Office of West Africa (OWA) has said it was providing funding support to help the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) build the capacity of its paramedics and operational officials to provide prompt and efficient accident rescue operations, preparedness and responsiveness to the very high accident rate on Nigerian roads.
The Foundation noted that during the first quarter of 2023 alone, 4,387 lives were lost and 14,108 individuals injured in road traffic accidents.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday, November 10, 2023, at the flag-off of the capacity building training programme, the foundation’s Regional Director in West Africa, ChiChi Aniagolu, said in her opening remarks that she hoped that all FRSC officers participating in the training would be equipped with enough skills to effectively carry out their duties because, with timely first aid and skilled first responders, more lives could be saved during accidents, especially as “we approach festive season when road accidents significantly increase.”
She further noted: “I am personally delighted that we are able to support this initiative of the FRSC because despite the harassment we citizens can sometimes experience from the FRSC personnel on the road, I am so proud of the work of the FRSC. We thank you for your service and commitments, and the risk and sacrifice you have been making for the past three decades to prevent and eradicate traffic accidents, attend to accident victims and create a safe motoring environment in Nigeria.”
Aniagolu further noted that the FRSC was not only saving lives, but also an essential link to the development of Nigeria because the safe movement of goods, services, and human mobility contributes to economic growth and development. This according to her, makes the safety of our roads an important public issue that needs to be a concern to everyone.
In attendance was the Director, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Simon T. Tyungu, who commended the Ford Foundation for its support and the FRSC for its commitment to enhancing the capacity of its staff.
In addition to the training in Abuja, training will also take place in Kano, Ibadan, and Enugu for FRSC staff in those locations.
The Ford Foundation is an international non-profit, philanthropy, that seeks to advance social justice by addressing the various drivers of inequality. The Foundation has operated in Nigeria for over sixty years and promotes human rights, democracy, and social inclusion. During this period, it has partnered with several Nigerian agencies and invested in numerous innovative ideas and approaches to solving important social and economic problems.