Pondering on the glaring fact that Dr. Boboye Olayemi Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) will retire from the Corps this month, I fell into a very sober mood. Considering his unprecedented contribution to the development of FRSC as the Lead Agency in Road Safety in Nigeria, Driving School Standardisation Programme (DSSP), Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, Graduated Driver Licensing System, Road Transport Safety Standardization System (RTSSS) and other aspects of Road Safety Administration, I and fellow Nigerians who knew the journey so far wished his tenor could be further extended to enable him do much more. He is indeed unique in voice, qualification, experience, competence and diligence among his other sterling qualities. Before becoming the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi worked in all the Departments of the Corps and did marvelously well. He contributed significantly to safety on Nigeria Roads. Under his watch as the Corps Marshal, the rate of road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths reduced in Nigeria. The rate of racketeering of driver licence and vehicle plate numbers also reduced drastically.
Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi boosted the use of breathalyzer for the detection of drunk Drivers. He also introduced the use of body and vehicle cameras to check the excesses and corruption of the operation Officers of the Corps. The indefatigable Corps Marshal is largely known for his rapid response against acts of corruption in every area that has to do with Road Safety Administration.
Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi has zero tolerance for indolence and corruption. I was opportune to be in his office twice till around 9pm and discovered to my amazement that his office work has not stopped. I was told that he will not leave his office until all the files and jobs he needed to do were all done successfully. He strongly believes in not postponing till tomorrow, what he should and can do today.
About 2 years ago, I reported some Officers of the Corps that compromised on the Abuja - Lagos road to the Corps Marshal and within 24 hours, he summoned them to the Corps Headquarters for disciplinary actions. He further assured me that the only condition where an Officer of the Corps will go scot free with any act of corruption or compromise is if he doesn’t hear or know about it. He is indeed a talk and do Leader.
Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi maintained and improved on the state of the art control room which is a model of the employment of information and communication technology in Road Safety Administration. Some West African Countries recently visited the Headquarters of the Corps to learn from the Nigeria Lead Agency. The World Bank also declared FRSC as a best example of a Lead Agency in Africa.
The Corps as one of the few Public Service Organisations in Nigeria attained the ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2013 and upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 in 2019. The Corps was re-certified on ISO 9001:2015 in January 2022. The re-certification which was back to back, was indeed a remarkable landmark under the administration of Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi. "In its contribution to road safety management in Africa, the Corps championed the establishment of the West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO). The Corps also continue to support other African Countries to achieve their set objectives," "The Corps also activated volunteerism in road safety administration through its arm of Volunteers. There are about 15,000 volunteer Special Marshals, excluding other variants such as Celebrity and Honorary Special Marshals.
The Corps successfully secured the infusion of Road Safety studies in the curricula of primary and post-primary schools in Nigeria. The Corps also introduced the concept of Road Safety Clubs in Primary and Secondary schools, as well as among Members of the National Youth Service Corps. These feats, the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi greatly improved upon during his tenure. "The Corps has over 160,000 members of the Road Safety Club nationwide.
With the support of the Federal and some State Governments among other critical Stakeholders, NigerianRoad Safety Partnership (NRSP), International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), local and international donor Agencies and individuals, the Corps has improved on its critical infrastructure and operational equipment. under Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi,
The Corps with its Headquarters at Wuse Zone 3 has built permanent office structures in virtually all the States in Nigeria. The Corps has expanded its operation with 12 Zonal Commands nationwide, 37 Sector Commands in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT for operational and administrative purposes. "The Corps similarly has 7 Corridor Commands, 245 Unit Commands, additional 54 Outposts and 764 Station Offices (LGA offices) across the country to widen its operational, rescue and data coverage to enhance its service delivery. "The Corps has established four training institutions: FRSC Academy, Udi in Enugu State for the training of Officers, FRSC Marshal Inspectorate School, and Driver Proficiency Training Centre in Owa - Alero in Delta State for the training of middle cadre manpower. (with a plan to establish similar facilities in the 6 Geo-political Zones), FRSC Training School Jos in Plateau State for the training of the Road Marshal Assistant Cadre and FRSC Command and Staff College (FCSC) temporarily located in Enugu State."Some of the training institutions were built through partnership with some State Governments, while others were fully delivered by individual State Governments due to the cordial relationship Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi established with the State Government and other Stakeholders.
Under the administration of Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the FRSC Academy had received approval of the National Universities Commission to commence post-graduate degree programmes in affiliation with the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri in Imo State. The Corps is also partnering with African Development Bank (AfDB) to establish a Center of Excellence in Road Safety Studies in Africa at the Academy. In pursuit and sustenance of a world class status, the Corps has established a functional 24-hour ultra-modern FRSC Call Center (the 122 toll – free number) to report emergencies on the roads.In addition, the Corps has established Field Operations Monitoring and Control Center (FOMCC) for real time monitoring of activities of the Corps’ field operatives via body - worn cameras deployed with field operatives.
As part of the efforts of the Corps under the visionary Leadership of Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Computer – Based Test (CBT) has been introduced under the Driving School Standardization Programme (DSSP) to ensure that Driver Licence Applicants and Learner Drivers acquire quality driver education (theory and practical) in accredited Driving Schools before recommending them to the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) for the second level of pre-licence theory and practical testing to promote safety on Nigeria roads.
Without any iota of doubt, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi is indeed an icon of Road Safety Administration. He is a visionary Leader per excellence. With the wisdom and energy he still carries, I hereby implore the current Federal Government and the soon coming Federal Government to fully engage Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi with appointments and assignments particularly in the transportation and allied sectors so that he can more effectively contribute to the development of transportation, safety and security in Nigeria. I also join his teeming admirers to wish him a joyful exit from FRSC.
Whoever will take over the mantle of leadership of the Corps should not undermine the good structures but build more on it for better and more enviable Road Safety Administration in Nigeria.
* Registrar/Chief Executive, Professional Driving and Safety Academy and
* Director of Studies, Institute of Driving Instructors of Nigeria.
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