Mina Ogbanga: Transportation in Nigeria – Which is the safest mode? (Y! FrontPage)

by Mina Ogbanga

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Your wealth and ability to purchase a Buggati would amount to nothing if it cannot comfortably ply the roads.

‎- 400 passengers escape death as jet makes emergency landing in Sokoto after tyres explode in mid air.

The above headline captured my interest capped with the plane crash involving the body of former Aviation Minister, Olusegun Agagu,  got me wondering at not only how safe our air space is but which means of transportation is safest for citizens.

There is an intense need of the leaders in the transportation sector to solve the challenges against a sustainable, safe and peaceful mode of transport. Reports suggest that most air crashes are caused by human errors. Infrastructure decay is problem is left unattended to until an individual seen as important dies in an in incidedent such as the Associated Airline plane crash. That should not be the case.

Transport safety is as important as deciding to use a private jet to avert what ever delays and challenges you want to overcome. Once assigned a task, it becomes expedient for leaders to attach as much importance to carrying out their task as diligently as possible. Where the masses can’t confront leaders in several sectors to address issues, there now appears a way with which nature simply steps in to address the matter. You are to fix road and never do, you forget and pass through some seeming ‘death traps’ called roads and have a practical experience. Same in different ways as continuous flogging of issues
that are basic to human existence don’t seem to be shared as priority to those who have been mandated to address the issues therefrom.

What should be done going forward? What was the plan in the 53rd Anniversary speech by President Goodluck Jonathan where transportation is concerned? Perhaps we can get some messages of hope from there otherwise, what should be our immediate steps? There is need for a more proactive approach to Safety in the transport sector. We must and should not act only at the trigger of an accident, especially where such an accident involves elites. What happens to the thousands of poor and needy and critical mass that die through various other means of transport? Is FRSC meant to only announce accidents or seek ways to explore preventive avenues through safety training etc. Where does their mandate start and end? The point here is, any small steps in enhancing transport safety is key and a welcome step.

Your wealth and ability to purchase a Buggati would amount to nothing if it cannot comfortably ply the roads. Your rush to jump unto a private jet is not a guarantee for your arrival at your destination, your purchase of a dream yacht does not make you immune to pirates and more. What we need to watch out for before a safety shut down of the transport sector to adequately address all the fundamental issues relating to transport after which we can now leave the rest to “divine grace”‎.

Every life is important. Every life has withing in a potential to solve the seemingly never ending troubles of Nigeria. In many parts of the world, while the government ensures provision of basic amenities and infrastructures etc, it is expected that users of this facilities use them as safely as possible through guided rules. We cannot say if obedience to laid down laws stem from the fact that the amenities and infrastructures are available, the lack of it results in frustration which tends to dampen the desire to adhere to safety rules. We need to make a conscious decision to protect ourselves against danger.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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