The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says operatives of the corps will begin to carry arms to curtail the excesses of road users in the country.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Akinfolarin Mayowa, said this during FRSC’s 2020 budget performance and 2021 budget defence on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the1992 Act of FRSC allowed the corps to bear arms, adding, however, that this provision had yet to be implemented.
He said that it was expedient to implement that aspect of the law and allow the corps to bear so as to enable them to function maximally.
He stressed that the eradication of accidents on the nation’s highways should be the collective responsibility of all Nigerians, adding that no stone should be left unturned to achieve this.
Mayowa said that the committee would meet with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and also write to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the full implementation of the Act.
A member of the committee, Mr Solomon Maren, who also supported the call to allow FRSC to bear arms, said that the committee would take up the matter with the Inspector-General of Police.
He said that the country’s laws must be fully obeyed, adding that there were increasing risks on the roads, hence the need for FRSC to bear arms.
The FRSC Corps Marshall, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, said that members of the corps were increasingly facing the menace deviant road users, adding that some of the road users even threatened to deal with the FRSC personnel.
He solicited the assistance of the committee in curtailing the excesses of such road users by ensuring that FRSC personnel were allowed to bear arms.
Besides, Oyeyemi said that FRSC now had 280 formations across the country, adding that it had established its presence in virtually all the local government areas across the country.
The corps marshal said that the only exceptions were the riverine areas of Akwa Ibom State and Ondo States, among others.
He also said that in 2020, only 50 per cent of the budget was released, stressing that this did not allow the corps to embark on some capital projects.
Oyeyemi said that N1.459 billion was remitted to the consolidated account by the corps in the outgoing year.
He urged the Federal Government to direct local government councils to relocate markets that were adjacent to highways across the country in order to stem fatal accidents and incessant deaths.