By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Anambra State Government through the ministry of Transport has hosted the 2018 National Conference of Directors and Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation (VIOS) with a call on Ndi Anambra to embark on annual vehicle road worthiness test.
The 3-Day event which featured an address of welcome from the Ag. National President, Garba Abdu Gaya, paper presentations, technical session, introduction and swearing-in of new executives, presentation and innovations in road traffic safety and security, among others, had people from all walks of life in attendance.
Declaring the function open, Governor Willie Obiano harped on the need for the vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles were road worthy by embarking on the annual vehicle road worthiness test, even as he called on vehicle inspection officers across the country to consider instituting annual road worthiness tests for all vehicles regardless of who owned them.
Governor Willie Obiano who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, disclosed that the annual vehicle road worthiness test was the practice in the developed countries.
He said that doing so would help detect problems that could lead to road accidents in vehicles, thereby curbing road crashes, noting that his government was keen on containing road traffic safety in the state, given its status as the gateway state for all Southeast and South South states of the country.
He said that the Vehicle Inspection Office was resuscitated during his first term to ensure that all roads in the state were marked, noting that they had distributed equipment for detecting drunk drivers, as well as procured mobile cameras to be mounted at strategic parts of the roads in the state for monitoring vehicular activities.
He assured the VIOs of his government's support of their agency, announcing that he had approved the employment of 72 more vehicle inspection officers to improve on the manpower of the agency in the state.
Earlier in his opening remark, Honourable Uchenna Okafor, Anambra State Commissioner for Transport, appreciated the national body of the VIO for choosing Anambra State to host their convention this year.
He said that Anambra State was encouraged by their presence and expected that their deliberations would address human capacity building in traffic management.
He pointed out that given the massive traffic Anambra State entertained daily because of its geographical location, the government was particular about safety of life and property on the roads, assuring them of his ministry's support of their activities in the state.
In his keynote address, Revd. Oluyomi Bayo, ex-national chairman of the group, noted that the 2018 edition of the annual conference chose the theme “innovative strategies for enhancing sustainable road traffic safety and security” because of its poise to meet the United Nations target of slashing road accidents by 50 per cent within a decade.
He enjoined states in the Southeast, South-South and other geopolitical zones to emulate Anambra State, which, he said, was the only state in the Southeast and South-South to install the computerised vehicle inspection system.
He lauded the state government for its support for VIO activities while urging her to de-emphasis revenue generation and refocus more on safety and security of life and property for the agency in the state
Fides reports that the opening ceremony came to a climax with the decoration of several individuals with Governor Willie Obiano as the Grand Patron and Mayor of VIO, Anambra State.
The Commissioner for Transport and SSA to the Governor on Public Transportation and General Supervisor of the VIO-DVLA in the state, Mr Christopher Okeke, was also promoted to Chief VIO of the state.
For his part, the acting national chairman who was also the chairman of the conference, Garba Abdu Gaya, appreciated the hospitality of the state government while promising to make the conference impactful.
The Group Managing Director of OLISWARREN Associates Limited, Chief Olisah Aniunoh, who attended the conference, described Governor Willie Obiano's award as a deserving one.