By G9ija

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Tuesday called on the State and Federal Governments to rehabilitate major roads in Nigeria to ensure smooth and safe driving ahead of the Yuletide.Okowa made the call at a campaign tagged: “Maintain Safe Speed, Avoid Night Travels And Enjoy Quality Road Experience” being the theme of the campaign, aimed at reducing road crashes and fatalities on the roads.The governor, in company of his Deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro and other top government functionaries, commended the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for choosing the South-South and Delta, in particular to host the 2021 national flag-off of “Ember” Months.“Let me use this opportunity to call on all governments across the nation to do everything possible to make our roads usable for motorists during this festive period and beyond to reduce road crashes on our roads,” Okowa said.He said that his administration had commenced the construction of a flyover and inter-change at Koka Junction.The governor appealed to motorists to be patient and exercise caution while passing through the corridor.“We have commenced the construction of a flyover and an interchange at Koka Junction, Asaba. We hope to complete it within one year.“We will also intensify the construction on the dualisation of Ughelli-Asaba Road to ensure the completion of Ogwashi-Uku to Asaba Section before April, 2022,” he said.Okowa thanked the Corps Marshall, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, for the sensitisation and ensuring that nobody slept on the bridge during the Christmas period.He appealed to the stakeholders to educate their members on the need to maintain safe speed.

“I want to thank the Corps Marshal for bringing this event to Delta; I must thank him for the awareness and sensitisation which had contributed immensely to ensuring safety on our roads.“When you feel you’re tired, please don’t drive; it is important we realise that lives matter, because if you are not careful and somebody dies as a result of your recklessness, it’s not good enough.“We will continue to do our best to ensure that we have safety on our roads during the Ember Months and beyond.Earlier, Mr Andrew Kumapayi, the Zonal Commander Zone 5 Headquarters, had said that the choice of Delta for the national campaign was in recognition of the state‘s contribution to road safety in the country.“The donation of the world class Inspectorate Training School at Owa-Alero by the governor will forever remain indelible in the history of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).“The institution is one of the best Road Safety Training Centres in Africa and the facility has globally improved FRSC public image and performance rating.

“The Ember Months Road Safety Campaign is a concept deliberately designed to better traffic management and control in line with the FRSC statutory mandate and global best practices,”Kumapayi said.He said that speeding had remained the leading cause of road traffic crashes and high fatalities on the highway.“To fight the menace of speeding and ensure befitting road use experience, the FRSC is committed to achieving the strategic goal of reducing road traffic crashes by 15 per cent and fatalities by 20 per cent,” Kumapayi said