The Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called on Federal and State Governments to focus on building roads that are motorable in Nigeria rather than chasing road worthiness of vehicles.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary and second Nigeria Annual Automotive Industry award, Samuel Oloyede Oriowo, president of the NGO, said the issue of vehicles being roadworthy should be deemphasised for motorable roads worthy for vehicles as many roads across the country are in bad shape.
To continue its advocacy projects, he called on the Federal Road Safety Corps to make a case for the NGO in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to allocate funds to organisations that are actively contributing to the reduction of incidents in Nigerian Roads.
While commending 11 Plc for making resources available to encourage the NGO in its contribution to the reduction of accidents on the road, he also called on the National Assembly Committees on Land Transport, the Diaspora, and the Non-Governmental Organisations to consider allocating funds to the NGO.
Meanwhile, Oriowo expressed worry over the issue of aging repair and maintenance practitioners, pointing out the need for the establishment of an institute to train future automobile specialists in the country.
“The Board of Trustees of the Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative discovered that a reasonable percentage of the current automobile technicians in the country is aging and that the young ones are not adequately equipped with the requisite education to embrace the latest technology in repairing modern automobiles with sophisticated brain boxes,” he said.
He said there is no doubt that universities and polytechnics are doing so much to train engineering graduates to manage technical challenges at the workshops.
He, however, said that the West Africa Automotive Institute is established to address the obvious gaps, and train and re-train younger people from the communities and colleges on the best techniques of automobile maintenance.
According to Oriowo, the West Africa Automotive Institute was set up to come on stream early next year.
He said the NGO recently commenced a conversation with the Federal Government to concede one of its agency’s properties situated in Osun State to the institute to use as a campus.
“While believing that a certain abandoned property of government in Osun will soon be conceded to the institute, we are optimistic to announce to you that proper learning, as well as training activities, will commence in January 2024,” he said.
Oriowo appealed to corporate bodies and major stakeholders to donate relevant teaching equipment and other infrastructures to the institute to enable it to impact positively on future generations of skillful automotive experts.
The high point was the presentation of awards of different categories to deserving winners including the FRSC, VIO, LACVIS, and other government officials as well as other awardees.
Read also: Bad roads frustrating Nigerian farmers
The awardees lauded Oriowo for his commitment to ensuring that the Initiative continues to forge ahead in the task of ensuring road safety across Nigeria.
The Award celebrated and rewarded the best performance and the brightest of the Nigeria Automotive Industry Stakeholders. It is an appreciation of developments of the various automobiles, automobile products as well as the automobile products producers.