FCT, Kaduna remain places where Nigerians are most likely to die on the highway

THE federal capital territory (FCT) and Kaduna state have consecutively topped Nigeria’s chart of road traffic crashes, deaths in the last six years, The ICIR can report.

This is based on findings obtained from the data published between 2015 and 2020 by the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC).

FRSC is an agency of government vested with regulation, enforcement and coordination of road traffic safety and management.

The corps’ quarterly publication, ‘Statistical Digest’, which reports all its administrative and field activities, shows that Bayelsa, Ekiti and Borno states have the lowest road traffic disasters in the country within the period.

In 2015, the FCT led Nigerian road crash cases with 1,293, followed by Nasarawa, which recorded 772. The number of crashes within the year was 9,074, while the total death was 5,075.

FCT also led the tally in 2016 with 1,373 while Kaduna recorded 715 and Niger had 535. Kaduna topped the chart of deaths with 505, followed by Abuja, which had 311. The cumulative crash that year was 9,694, as total deaths stood at 5,053.

Quarterly analysis of the data between 2017 and 2019 reveals that FCT and Kaduna led in crashes, injuries and fatalities in all quarters in the three years.

In 2017, FCT recorded 1,106 crashes, which had a breakdown of 307, 346, 248 and 205 cases respectively in each of the quarters. The city was followed by Kaduna, which had 755, that is 236, 200, 166 and 153 respectively for each quarter. Niger state came third with 516 cases, 150, 139, 121 and 106 cases in each of the quarters.

Borno, Bayelsa and Ekiti state recorded the least crashes, recording 36, 45 and 56 in all the quarters, respectively.

There was a total of 9,383 road crashes in the nation during the year, according to the FRSC.

State with the highest number of injured persons during the year was Kaduna. It had 3,052 (562, 752, 597 and 449 in each of the quarters). The state was followed by the FCT which recorded 2,360 (562, 752, 597 and 449) and Kogi that witnessed 1,573 (351, 403, 381 and 438).

Bayelsa had the least data for injured persons that year with (97) 15, 23, 28 and 31; Ekiti (168) with 37, 45, 39 and 47 and Cross River (175) with 72, 50, 43 and 10 respectively in each of the quarters. The number of persons who were injured was 31,094.

Meanwhile, deaths tally from the crashes within that year was highest in Kaduna with 558, having a breakdown of 216, 140, 108, 94 for the quarters. FCT came second with (287) 66, 111, 56 and 54; as Kogi was third with (256) 60, 34, 53 and 89.

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Borno, Bayelsa and Abia paraded the lowest figures with 21 (10, 2, 4, 7) for Borno; 21 (1, 9, 4 and 7) for Bayelsa; and 26 (11, 9, 2 and 4) for Abia in each of the quarters. Total death toll for the period was 5,121.

FRSC’s table showing number of road crash casualties in 2018

In 2018, FCT topped crash cases with 274, 289, 254 and 234 in each of the quarters, totalling 1051. Kaduna came second with 830 cases, being 198, 238, 179 and 215 respectively; as Nasarawa took the third place with 485 cases, broken down as 131, 128, 103 and 123 for the quarters.

The lowest cases were recorded in Borno, Bayelsa and Cross River. The three states had 46, 53 and 56 throughout the year. Number of crash cases for the year was 9,741.

Kaduna state-led injury chart for the year with 3300 (701, 995, 646 and 958); followed by FCT which had 2347 (618, 634, 569 and 526); and Ogun which recorded 1186 (464, 485, 444 and 493).

States with lowest injuries arising from crashes in the year were Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River. They recorded 92, 149, 157 respectively throughout the year.

Total number of injured persons from crashes in that year was 32,220.

Kaduna once again had the highest fatality rate for an accident in 2018 with 597 (150, 180, 82 and 185); Niger was second with 289 (58, 75, 79 and 77); and Ogun was third with 281 (91, 72, 51 and 67) in each of the quarters respectively.

Bayelsa, Taraba and Ekiti recorded the least casualties with 14, 26 and 31 respectively.

5,181 persons were killed in road accidents within the year.

FCT yet again topped the chart of crashes in 2019 with 972 (273, 98, 292 and 309) in each of the quarters. Kaduna followed with 756 (218, 92, 172 and 274), as Lagos came third with 452 (121, 46, 147 and 138).

Bayelsa recorded the least data with 181 (0, 0, 1, 7); followed by Borno, 571 (6, 5, 13 and 23); and Ekiti with 76 (17, 6, 23 and 30). Total case was 9,218.

Injuries recorded within the period were 30,242 altogether. From the tally, Kaduna led with 3,053 (975, 427, 674 and 977); FCT came second with 2,035 (639, 192, 601 and 977); and Ogun was third with 1,900 (473 197, 618 and 612).

Bayelsa had the least figure with 50 (27, 0, 0 and 23) for each of the quarters; and Cross River, which had 176 (54, 33, 30 and 59). 30,242 persons were reportedly injured from road crashes in the year.

Casualties for the year were 4,609 in total. Kaduna recorded 385 (130, 49, 60 and 146); Bauchi came second with 306 (102, 39, 40 and 125), while Niger was third with 265 (66, 23, 91 and 85).

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Lowest cases for the year occurred in Bayelsa which had 3 (2, 0, 0 and 1) respectively in each of the quarters. Rivers state followed with 21 (4, 1, 6 and 10) and Borno with 24 (10, 1, 4 and 9).

The situation remains the same in second and third quarters of 2020. (The ICIR could not obtain information for first and fourth quarter of 2020). FCT recorded 165 road crashes while Kaduna and Ogun had 177 and 170 apiece in the second quarter of 2020; the two highest in the country. Borno recorded the least with four, while Bayelsa and Rivers had six and eight each.

Between July and September (third quarter) 2020, the FCT saw 311 crashes. It was the highest in Nigeria. Ogun had 239, as Kaduna and Oyo recorded 219 and 143 respectively. The lowest accidents within the period were recorded by Bayelsa, Borno and Ekiti, which had 3, 13, 22 in that order.

Aggregate road crashes in Nigeria between 2015 and 2019 was 47,110, that is, 9,074 (2015) + 9,694 (2016) + of 9,383 (2017) + 9,741 (2018) + 9,218 (2019), while cumulative death within the five years was 25,039, that is, 5075 (2015) + 5053 (2016) + 5121 (2017) + 5181 (2018) + 4609 (2019).

Scene of a road crash in Nigeria.
Source: Premium

Many Nigerian roads are dilapidated and plied by thousands of goods-moving articulated and other vehicles. In most cases, commuters spend more than 300 percent of the time required by their journeys because of gridlocks occasioned by accidents and broken down vehicles.

Rail transport system, which is expected to be alternative and better means of transportation in the country, has been moribund for decades. Its resuscitation journey began with former President Goodluck Jonathan administration and received commitments from the Buhari government.

Meanwhile, Abuja is among the few states in Nigeria that enjoy good road networks. The city has better roads than Kaduna – both of which have the highest road crashes, injuries, and deaths.

United Nations had in 2003 projected that the mortality rate from road traffic accident injuries in Africa “is the highest in the world, costing the region 7.3 billion dollars or one percent of its gross domestic product annually.”

Similarly, while addressing the 2017 Africa Road Safety Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, had decried high rate of road crashes on the continent and urged leaders in the region to support measures that could reduce the tragedies, especially the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety and the African Road Safety Action Plan.

“The continent suffers from the highest road traffic fatality rate than any other region – despite having less than five per cent of the world’s registered vehicles,” Mr. Todt had said at the conference.

Causes of accident in Nigeria, according to the FRSC, include speed violation, use of phone while driving, burst tyre, mechanically-deficient vehicle, brake failure and overloading.

Others are dangerous overtaking, wrongful overtaking, dangerous driving, bad road, route violation, road obstruction and sleeping on steering.

Some Nigerians who have died in road crashes

One of the Nigerians who died in road accidents was James Ocholi, former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity. He died in a ghastly accident on March 6, 2016 along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Yusuf Nwoha, director, administration at the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), died on July 29, 2020, in a ghastly motor accident in Okenne while heading to his home in Owerri, Imo state, to celebrate Sallah.

Tajudeen Idowu, commander for ‘Amotekun’ in Kajola local government area of Oyo state, and Kola Oladunjoye, a senior lecturer and a former head of architecture department at the Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo state, as well as two other persons died in an accident along Moniya-Iseyin road on Friday January 29, 2021.

A Nigerian medical doctor, Chidera Ifudu, also reportedly died in a motor accident on Friday, February 13, 2021, two months to his wedding. He died after his Lexus SUV crashed along the Port Harcourt/Aba road.

The ICIR had, on December 17, 2020 reported major highway to watch for kidnapping and abduction in the country.

Our strategies to reduce crashes yielding results – FRSC

Bisi Kazeem, FRSC’s spokesperson, told The ICIR that “one of the strategies the corps adopts in minimising road traffic crashes is increased visibility. This is because it has been noticed that drivers and other road users tend to comply with traffic laws whenever they see FRSC personnel on the road. The corps management decided to ensure adequate personnel deployment to ensure compliance and enlighten the motoring public when they go against established regulations. On the Kaduna-Abuja expressway, the corps established more outposts along the highways to caution drivers against bad driving habits and met out punishment where necessary.

Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, FRSC. Source: Vanguard newspaper

“Speed has been identified as a major cause of crashes in the mentioned locations in recent time. To tackle the rising cases of speed-related crashes, the corps introduced mandatory installation of the speed limiting device for all commercial vehicles. As we talk at the moment, enforcement is on top gear. We did this because if speed is regulated, crashes will be minimised, and where they occur, the tendency of recording zero fatalities is high.

“We have also broadened the scope of our consultation with stakeholders to ensure that the fleet operators put their vehicles in good working condition. These include the mandatory installation of the speed limiting device, and other safety standards.”

Kazeem, an assistant corps marshal,  added that the corps had also broadened its public education scope y sensitising the public in all strategic locations, including motor parks, churches, mosques, market places, and others.

He further explained that intensification of patrol operations is another dimensional tool the corps had deployed to minimise crashes. According to him, when road users refuse to heed to enlightenment campaigns, the corps adopts enforcement to compel them into compliance through a mobile court where offenders are prosecuted.

A case study of road accident in Abuja

A fatal lone accident involving a Honda Accord car with registration number Kano: TRN 489 SY claimed the driver’s life on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, along Airport Road, Abuja.

The accident occurred around 10am and led to heavy gridlock on the ever-busy highway.

TOurreporter witnessed the tragedy occurred few metres from the Kuje overhead bridge, shortly before the NSCDC and NIS headquarters’ headquarters.

Sympathizers expressed shock over the impacts of the accident, as the car’s engine pulled out and flung almost 400 meters away from the body.

The middle-aged late driver was the only occupant of the car.

Many of the sympathizers who blamed the accident on over-speeding said they hadn’t seen such a crash in their lives.

It was not immediately clear if the late driver was heading towards the airport, as many motorists who drive into and out of the airport are fond of over-speeding.

Apart from scores of motorists who parked on both sides of the road to sympathize or catch a glimpse of the tragedy, sympathizers at the scene of the crash included officers of the FRSC, Nigerian Army, NIS, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Correctional Service, NSCDC and residents of Sauka, a community around the scene of the crash.

Scene of the accident around Sauka, Airport road, Abuja on February 2, 2021. Source: ICIR

Several vehicles of the FRSC and an ambulance were promptly deployed to the scene.

The driver’s body was pulled out of the mangled car as pool of the deceased’s blood-soaked the asphalt on the edge of the road where the ill-fated vehicle stopped, after crashing heavily on a huge drainage concrete on the road.

Parts of the car, including two of its tyres flew over the tall divider separating each side of the ten-lane highway. Its bumper and other parts were seen about 150 metres from the body while the engine stood almost 400 metres away from location where the heavily-mashed body was.

One of the FRSC officers who said he was not authorized to talk to the press said it was a lone accident, “which according to witnesses resulted from over-speeding.”

The officer urged all motorists to drive with care and ensure their vehicles are roadworthy.

The driver’s body was later moved away from the scene by the FRSC officials and the soldiers, but The ICIR could not confirm the morgue where it would be deposited.

    There are only two morgues around the scene, that is the Air Force Hospital (before the airport) and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (Gwagwalada).

    Abuja Airport road witnesses accidents almost every day because of heavy traffic, over-speeding, unlicensed drivers who usually drive, and use of un-roadworthy vehicles on the highway.

    In Late 2020, a red Toyota car crashed in front of the NSCDC headquarters in Abuja.

    Similarly, in the early part of last quarter of 2020, an articulated vehicle loaded with diesel burnt completely opposite Sauka village (about 200 metres from the NSCDC headquarters, causing panic and gridlock.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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