Director Highway Construction and Rehabilitation in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Funsho Adebiyi, has said that fatal road crashes now kill Nigerians more than Malaria, Covid-19 and HIV put together.
Adebiyi, disclosed this during an inspection visit to appraise the progress of work on the Abuja-Lokoja-Benin road project Thursday at construction site near Itakpe.
The Director said there was need to check reckless driving and carnage on Nigerian roads by appealed to motorists plying the roads to regulate their speed, be disciplined, cautious and avoid overloading.
“About two weeks ago we met with officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and you’ll be amazed at their records, you will be shocked at their records.
“From their records, reckless driving now kills Nigerians more than malaria, it kills more than HIV and I will say, it kills more than Corona virus. So, please, let us be careful the way we use these roads so that the roads will serve us longer.
“By being careless and reckless, you are exposing other careful road users to danger. This is why we have been having accidents upon accidents, loss of lives all the time that is where we have a major problem”, he said.
Adebiyi said there was need for discipline and caution while plying the roads as the pavements were designed for a particular weight load and traffic volume adding that the two formed part of the criteria on which the roads were built.
He wondered how a road that was designed for cars and at most, buses would last long while carrying heavy duty trucks carrying 600 to 1,000 bags of cement; 33,000 liters of fuel and in some cases, overload of cattle, foodstuff and humans.
“Apart from these, the vehicles are not carefully maintained. Their maintenance culture is bad. So most of these vehicles end up breaking down our roads while orhers empty their diesel content on the roads constituting serious problems.
“It destroys our pavements; diesel reacts so much on bitumen and weakens the cementing materials to reduce the lifespan of these roads.
“Before, we were saying Nigerian roads are bad and were clamouring for good roads. Now, we are improving the conditions of the roads and overspending has become the problem again. People now drive recklessly with unruly road users driving anyhow.
“Our appeal to motorists and the general public is to please consider others and drive carefully, maintaining discipline, regulate your speed and ensure that you don’t drink while driving and you don’t drive while drinking”, he said.