Since the creation of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) in 1988, that later transformed to Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), over three decades away, it had been a success story from one level to the other, under the leadership of the current Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi. His leadership has been outstanding with resounding success geared towards meeting government expectations and sustaining the legacies of the founding fathers.
The FRSC was established through a Military decree by former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida primarily to address and control frequent accidents and taming the tide of wrong use of the Nigerian roads.
Corps Marshal Oyeyemi assumed duty some years ago; had an unbreakable records as the first indigenous officer that occupy the top echelon of the Commission not as an administrator or Ag capacity, but substantive appointment that rose through the cadre.
In the last 32 years of the inception of the Commission, which span from the pioneer Corps Marshal, Professor Wole Soyinka, Dr Olu Agunloye, Major General Haladu Hananiya Rtd, Yakasai, and the immediate past Mr Osita Chidoka were all based on appointments and not rising through the cadre on the job, except the current leadership of the Commission.
Oyeyemi, mindful of this developement and conversant with the problems, prospects and progress of the Commission, had made frantic effort to reposition the organization with a view to meeting up the current challenges.
In his efforts to reposition the Commission to meeting the yearnings and expectations of Nigerians, it sustained the usual special patrols both occassionally during festive periods and at ’ember’ months, which begins from September-December of each year.
This he sustained through mobilisation of regular Marshals and special Marshals, who are volunteers and were positioned to mitigate the smooth activities of the Commission from time to time.
Oyeyemi did not play down the position of the Commission as a revenue generating agency, as he further discouraged cash collection both on the roads and offices, to maintain transparency and accountability geared towards avoiding sharp practices.
In the last six years, the Commission was pro-active in addressing unusual gridlock and blocking of roads due to accidents and unforeseen circumstances on Nigerian roads, hence, even at weekends, the Corps Marshal and some of its officers jettison the luxury of spending weekends at home, but on busy Lagos roads and other flash points to avoid the uncontrollable situation usually on Nigeria roads.
Boboye’s transparent leadership also spread to both employement/recruitment, promotion and staff welfare of the officers and rank of the Commission, as due dilligence is clearly adhered to as well as due process as obtainable in the public service.
The Corps Marshal developmental efforts in the Commission led to the establishment of FRSC Radio to link all offices in the rural and urban centres, even though constrained by modern technology, but when rectified, will enhance the operational base of the new Commission in his efforts to improve easy access and communication.
Oyeyemi made giant strides through the creation of sector commands and building of many offices across the country, corridor commands, more units and outpost commands, to address the ever growing needs of the services or the officers of the Commission.
This is in addition to ensure smooth traffic and movement in the ever busy tank farms located in Lagos and Ogun states as well as other parts of the country, and depots across the country through deployment of officers to various tanks and depot locations in Nigeria.
The Federal Road Safety Commission Academy in Jos and Udi are not left out in his effort to reposition the entire fabrics of the Commission, with series of innovations that led to the establishment of a new FRSC staff school, currently co-located with the academy in Udi, Enugu State, Southeastern Nigeria.
To forestal the problems of training officers of the Commission and men, expanded work is on going in Shendam, Plateau State to create a conducive and enabling environment for officers and men to impart more physical and theoretical knowledge during trainings.
His dogged effort to ensure the presence of officers of the Commission in all nooks and crannies in Nigeria, made created more offices at the Local Government levels, to check the excesses of motorists plying Nigerian roads, control avoidable mishaps and sanction serial offenders.
The rapid response team (RRT), section of the Commission had greatly improved their services in the last few years, as accident victims and other road carnage are being attended to as at when due, to save lives and properties of victims.
Mr Oyeyemi improved the image of the Commission and its officers in line with the best practices, as frequent surveillance officers are on ground to sanction erring officers that engage in any untoward activities in their official conducts.
This had resulted in robust service delivery, prompt response and improved image of the Commission and its officers.
Over the years and his stint at the helm of affairs of the Commission, it had been robust management of the only recognised road manager in Nigeria, obviously because of quality of leadership at the top echelon being piloted by Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi.
Abubakar Yusuf is a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Abuja.
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