Rising tendency of the FRSC to focus on revenue generation

April 10th, 2018

Recently, Nigerians, especially residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), witnessed increased presence of regular Marshalls of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). These Marshalls operate in motorized surveillance teams comprising of a power bike and brand-new saloon car. Their primary mission is to help reduce incidences of road crashes in the country.
Coming shortly after the launch of the FRSCa��s Decade of Action, which has Safe Roads in Nigeria as its theme, is a welcome development. The mission of Safe Roads in Nigeria, according to the FRSC, a�?is to reduce road crash deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020a�?. Safe Roads, it emphasized, is a response in Nigeria to the United Nationa��s Decade of Action on Road Safety and equally an initiative of the FRSC to promote safety on our roads.
No wonder on February 17, 2018, when the Corps Marshal/Chief Executive Officer of FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, unveiled the 10-year Road Safety Vision and Action Plan, at the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Corps in Abuja, he promised greater excellence in road traffic management.
However, it is disappointing that FRSC, which ought to primarily be a service-oriented agency, is struggling with the league of revenue generation parastatals to score first in that regard. It is common sight to see Corps Marshalls brandishing Offences Booking Forms and even impounding vehicles for simple misconduct that could ordinarily attracted a reprimand, advice or caution.
So desperate have FRSC Marshalls become these days that they have deployed the newly-acquired power bikes and vehicles to chase alleged road traffic violators even recklessly. What is more, the speed at which these FRSC officials fish out and fill the forms suggest that they may have been compelled to do so, probably to meet a set target.
But such recurring reprehensible attitude viewed against the backdrop of the FRSC Decree No. 45 of the 1988, as amended by Decree 35 of 1992, which is referred to as the FRSC Act cap 141 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), one cannot but agree that something is strange with the interpretation and implementation of this statute by the Marshals.
For emphasis, the FRSC was established with the mandate to primarily make the highway safer for motorists and other road users; recommend works and devices designs to eliminate or minimize accidents on the highways and advise the Federal and State Governments, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and relevant governmental agencies, on the localities where such works and devices are required. They are also expected to educate motorists and members of the public on the importance of discipline on the highway.
This core mandate which was set in motion by Prof. Wole Soyinka, have to a large extent, been jettisoned. FRSC now sees itself as a major revenue earner for the government. The activities of its men and operatives in all parts of the country are largely at variance with the original mandate. The recourse by FRSC Marshals to pursue alleged road traffic violators at top speed just to slam charges against them, have taken priority over their social responsibility mandate.
Since the Marshalls believe they can be the accuser, the prosecutor and the judge all together, the tendency to abuse their sacred mandate have become arbitrary. What is more, alleged road traffic violators are compelled to pay such arbitrary fines or have their vehicles impounded, which sometimes are vandalized at the dump sites if the vehicle owners fail to quickly settle the bills.
Viewed against the backdrop of the primary duty of advising on appropriate management of the vast kilometers of federal and state roads nationwide, the public are confused over the zeal in pursuing revenue which is gradually denting FRSCa��s reputation.
They expect FRSC to worry more about resolving the snail-speed processing of Drivers Licence and Vehicle Number Plates, which has been on for years. From observation, takes upward of sometimes, up to six months for owners of processed driversa�� license to secure such even though full payment was made beA�fore the physical capturing of the biometrics of such applicants.
What is more, the recent pronouncement by Dr. Oyeyemi that the idea of a a�?Safe Road in Nigeria is more of changing our driving behaviour than advocating for good road infrastructurea�?, did not help matters. With increasing incidences of fatal road traffic accidents in the country, added to the gruelA�ing gridlock in some areas, worsened by the terribly bad road network, how does FRSC think that drivers will possess the psychological equanimity to properly navigate the vehicles without committing some inA�fractions?
We at The AUTHORITY firmly believe that FRSC should deemphasise tendencies to generate revenue and concentrate more on improving on the social responsibility aspects of their mandate. Dr. Oyeyemi should review the Operational Order issued to his Marshals for those ideals that made the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) ascend the pinnacle of integrity especially when Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili led the agency.
Doing so will easily assist change negative attitudes that lead to road crashes. It is no positive image for the FRSC to be seen as competing with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FRSC) or the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in revenue generation. Time to change all these is now.

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