The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator Tijani Kaura has admonished staff of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to protect their personal safety during patrol activities to avoid being knocked down by reckless drivers. He stated this today while leading members of the committee on oversight functions to the National Headquarters of the FRSC, Abuja.
According to Bisi Kazeem, Head, Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Senator Kaura said the Committee is disturbed by reports of patrol men being hit by reckless drivers while performing their legitimate duties on the highways, warning that such dastardly acts by the drivers are unacceptable to members of the National Assembly. He pledged the support of the legislatures in the efforts by the Management of the FRSC to tackle the challenges, noting however that staff must on their own take necessary safety measures to avoid the risk.
The Chairman further stated that members of the Committee were on oversight functions to the FRSC National Headquarters to enable them ascertain the level of implementation of the 2016 budgetary appropriations to the Corps and particularly familiarise themselves with its operations with a view to determining areas of further legislative support. He commended the Corps Marshal for the commitment he has shown towards road safety management in the country, assuring that members of the Committee will continue to render necessary support that could make the operations of the Corps successful.
Senator Kaura noted that with the year coming to an end, there was the need for members of the Committee which has oversight powers over the FRSC to be properly briefed on the activities of the Corps to ensure that funds appropriated to it were being properly utilised for the benefit of Nigerians.
In their various contributions, other members of the Committee pointed out that the inter-face between them and the FRSC Management was to enable them appreciate the challenges of the Corps and devise better means of achieving results in budget and other related matters. They further stressed that the interaction could assist in fostering better understanding of the role of the executive and legislatures towards enhancement of national development.
Earlier in his presentation, the Corps Marshal briefed members of the Committee on the structure, functions, challenges and the funding needs of the Corps including its performance of the 2016 budgetary provisions. He noted that as part of the implementation of the year’s budget, FRSC is constructing permanent office accommodation in four different states across the country all of which are in different stages of completion.
The Corps Marshal added that though FRSC is not a revenue generating organisation, it has through its patrol activities generated over N1.6billion which was paid directly into the Federation Account, emphasising that the Corps does not have access to such funds which go directly into the consolidated accounts of the Federation. He expressed appreciation to members of the Committee for their support over the years, noting that within the limits of available funds, the executive has been helpful in timely release of the appropriated funds to the Corps.
Oyeyemi particularly cited the full release of the 2015 budgetary appropriation to the Corps which he described as unprecedented, stating that the gesture led to enhanced logistic empowerment for the Corps as more patrol vehicles, ambulances and tow trucks were purchased into the operational fleet of the FRSC. He declared that the overhead cost for this year’s budget has been fully released up to date with no staff being owned salaries, while the capital releases were being effected based on availability of funds.
The Corps Marshal assured members of the Committee that with legislative support the Corps is receiving from the Committee, it would continue to work hard to ensure improved service delivery in order to restore safety on the roads. He particularly thanked members of the Committee for their interest in the safety of road users, assuring that the Corps would remain committed to carrying out its statutory responsibilities of making the nation’s highways safer for road users.