Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said that road accidents claimed the lives of more people than COVID-19 pandemic even as he argued that majority of such accidents are not as a result of bad roads.
According to Fashiola, the Lagos-Ibadan Highway, the Abuja-Kano Highway, and Abuja-Keffi-Lafia Highway, have the highest cumulative number of road accidents, saying that for the month of January 2021, more people died of road accidents than COVID-19 and malaria combined.
The Minister spoke to newsmen shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today, June 16, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fashola said: “So, we saw that this was something that needed to be focused on. “We saw that for the month of January, the number of people who died from road crashes exceeded the combined numbers of people who died from malaria and COVID-19 together for the same month.
“While COVID and malaria were receiving national concerted attention, perhaps it was necessary to bring this to the attention of government as part of our strategy for protecting life and property.
“So, we identified the need for various actions to be taken from municipal, local government level to state and national level.”
He said that the process is on to reduce road accidents in federal highways, including the installation of road traffic signs and more patrol.
“We are looking at also putting speed metres on the highway. There is a combination of factors and we are also trying to educate drivers. We saw that the biggest factor for these accidents from overspeeding, loss of control, wrongful overtaking, brake failure, tyre blowing out points to the role of the driver.
“Consistently over the years and this data is available. The impact of bad roads and accidents was less than 2%. As big as that may be, it is less than 2%.
“These factors I have mentioned; overspeeding, loss of control, wrongful overtaking cumulate to over 70%. If we reduce this, we bring the numbers down.”