Road Safety 2016 reports say approximately 223 lives, have been lost in Ogun state alone, due to a number of reasons, one of which Data Analyst, Babajide Ogunsanwo identifies as abuse of alcohol by drivers.
It’s been a week of horrible road movement, following the ongoing construction and subsequently a ghastly accident that occurred along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Although rescue efforts were promptly completed by emergency officers such as men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, (LASEMA), and Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC), commutters have had to suffer long hours in a gridlock in the preceding days.
Data analyst, Babajide ogunsawo, analyzing the road infrastructure and “how we got ourselves here” described the gridlock as “extremely horrible”.
He recalled that five and a half decades ago, Nigeria’s road infrastructure, and the network around the country was 65 thousand kilometres but, “today it’s more than double that amount – population has more than quadrupled”.
“At the start of this new millennium, the total estimated vehicles on Nigerian roads was 1.3 million, now its seven times what it was about 16 years ago.
“Population has significantly grown as well as number of vehicles on the roads” he added.
He then stated that a logical solution would be to increase the capacity of the roads, by increasing the number of lanes and improving maintenance of roads.
However, according to him, evidence based on several global studies, shows that when countries increase the capacity of their roads, they get more cars to fill in those roads.
“Hence, we need to realise that even though we have a transportation problem, the transportation solution may not necessarily get us out of the problem.
Mr Ogunsanwo stated that although the government makes plans based on the population figures, what they are not doing right is looking through the same perspective.
He said the Commissioner of Health in Lagos as at 2015, Dr Jide Idris, revealed something that several analysts call the “greatest information in Lagos in the last decade”.
He said although it was not about transportation, it has great significance on our road infrastructure.
According to him, Mr Idris and his team had conducted a survey among bus drivers in Lagos, and it showed that 80% of bus drivers in Lagos, were either on drugs or alcohol.
The information analyst said Lagos state has the biggest economy in the country, as measured by GDP, while also recalling that the FRSC Marshall had on Thursday, stated that road transportation was the most important means that leads people to their various destination.
Analysing all the information, he came to a conclusion that “bus drivers in Lagos indeed are leaders because they are the ones that take a lot of families to their various destination.
“However, if majority of these drivers are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it only means that most of the leaders don’t know where they are going”.
Furthermore, he stated that the National Bureau of Statistics, in their last consumption reports said most Nigerian families spend more on alcohol and entertainment than on education.
Mr Ogunsanwo then posited that when there is road congestion, “we need to connect these dots so we can clearly see where the problem comes from” in order to apply necessary solutions.