The Director-General of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Comrade Issa Aremu has asserted that Nigeria needs massive transportation transformation to curtail the senseless loss of lives on motorcycles popularly called Okada.
Comrade Aremu made the call while speaking with newsmen at the sidelines of the commemoration of the 2022 World Day For Safety and Health, themed:”To Building Positive Safety and Health Culture: Let’s Act Together “.
The D-G asserted that there must be a revolution in the transportation system in the country as Nigerians die needlessly from Okada related accidents.
He said:” You can’t move over 200 million people on Okada and tricycle called Keke Napep. How many people do they carry and in any case how many do they carry to their destination alive,” he questioned.
Aremu pointed out that Okadas and tricycles have become contraptions of death, adding that government at all tiers must provide better means of transportation for its citizenry to save guard their lives.
He also observed that Okadas are now been used to perpetrate nefarious activities such as kidnappings and banditry.
“Nobody should be kept on contraption of 14th and and 18th centuries called Keke Napep, when he himself doesn’t use it.
“When you go to advance nations, you see people travel by rail and mass transit.
“I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for revolutionising the trail system. The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train is nothing but deliberate mischief of saboteurs to reverse the country back.
“Who will not be happy that we are moving people in mass number. That’s why all people must know that it is an attack on the nation,” he said.
Aremu called for regulations on the use of Okada especially in Kwara, adding that the state government must ensure they obey the speed limit, passenger limit, use of helmets and avoid putting children on petrol tankers among others.
Similarly, the D-G canvassed for corporate governance at all levels to ensure that lives are safeguarded in the workplace, including the motivation of work, training and re-training of workers and promotion of safety consciousness at all times.
He quoted the International Labour Organization (ILO) that over one to two million work-related deaths occur annually.
Aremu reiterated the commitment of MINILS to ensuring the promotion of workers’ safety saying that the institution has ensured that safety and health issues are now part of the curriculum in Labour Studies.
Also speaking, Alhaji Layi Rauf, the Controller, Kwara Ministry of Labor reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to safeguarding and promoting the safety, health and well-being of workers in their various workplaces.
Rauf who represented Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, asserts that it is the legal obligation of employers to provide a conducive, safe and healthy work environment for their workers.
This environment, he said, must be devoid of inherent hazards that can lead to avoidable accidents.
Also speaking, Mrs Susan Oluwole, the Head of Service (HoS) Kwara State called for the need to act together on the safety of workers in the state and across the nation.
She added that the safety of workers will translate to a positive workforce with a positive attitude.
Oluwole noted that in promoting safety in the workplace, there must be communication, positive process, training and management commitment.