Nigeria said it looked forward to benefitting from the 770 million dollars Road Trust Fund to strengthen the Federal Road Safety Corps and reduce the country’s road fatalities by 50 per cent by 2030.
Mr Akinremi Bolaji, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, stated this while delivering Nigeria’s statement at the launch of the United Nations Road Trust Fund at the UN headquarters in New York.
Bolaji said: “As a developing country, Nigeria not only supports the trust fund but anxiously looks forward to being among the first beneficiaries from the envisaged financial support.
“This is necessary to tilt our ongoing intervention efforts to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals of reducing fatalities by 50 per cent.
“Nigeria welcomes the launch and pledges her unflinching support for the trust fund as a vehicle to leverage additional funding..
“This we believe would strengthen the Federal Road Safety Corps, in Nigeria, which is the country’s lead Agency in road traffic administration and safety management”.
He said with 770 million dollars of grant funding per year over the coming decade, the fund could save five million lives and avert 50 million serious injuries in low and middle income countries.
He said while road safety was recognised as a key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) issue, inadequate funding, bad road network, lack of awareness, as well as absence of emergency health care services had remained its major challenges.
“In keeping with our commitment to halve road traffic deaths by 2020, Nigeria has intensified efforts in tackling these challenges.
“This is by mainstreaming the work of the Federal Road Safety Commission into State policies with particular focus on rural transport safety, to ensure no one is left behind.
“In October 2017, Nigeria also approved a Road Trust Fund that is expected to accelerate the delivery of significant constructions of safe roads and road infrastructures, especially in rural areas and industrial clusters affected by bad roads.
“In 2018, an estimated 37 million dollars was earmarked for the construction of these roads,” Bolaji said.
The Nigerian envoy commended the General Assembly for convening the 82nd plenary session to consider the draft resolution on Improving Global Road Safety, adding Nigeria welcomes the adoption of the resolution by consensus. (NAN)