Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said that 71 driving schools had been sanctioned while several others were being investigated over unprofessional conducts.
Oyeyemi said this during an interactive session with proprietors of Driving Schools operating in Ogun, Oyo and Lagos States at the Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, Lagos on Monday.
The theme of the programme was “Driving School Operations in Nigeria: Charting a New Way Forward.”
“Our objectives are to institute a comprehensive strategy for standardising driving school operations and drivers training.
“And to facilitate identification of risk and determination, implementation of necessary actions to bridge the gaps.
“Enrolling above the schools’ capacity, illegally graduating trainees without any form of training or with less than 26 mandatory hours is unprofessional.
“Hacking into Driving School Standardising Programme (DSSP) and connivance with operatives to circumvent conduct of driver testing and licensing processes are also unprofessional conducts.
“Seventy-one driving schools have recently been sanctioned and others are being investigated over this unprofessional misconducts,” he said.
According to him, some of the objectives include uniformity in operational procedure of driving schools, formal driver training with standard curriculum and reliable database of registered and accredited standard curriculum.
The FRSC boss said that the introduction of user-friendly computer based final examinations for all qualifying candidates should be applied to address issues of sharp practices currently perpetuated by the operators of the scheme.
“In line with global best practice, computer based tesing of drivers should be adopted which can be domesticated in local languages.
“It can also be available in audio-visual version for illiterate drivers and will provide a good assessment of applicants.
“Lagos is taking a lead already in this; other states should key into it,” he said.
Oyeyeymi also advised the proprietors of the driving schools to maintain the integrity of Nigeria Driver’s Licence as the key to national planning, security and general development.
The FRSC boss said that operators should bear in mind that the ultimate goal was to provide a safe monitoring environment for road users in the country.
Oyeyemi added that any person seeking acquisition of registered driving school should give notification to FRSC of intent, get approval/disapproval by FRSC and formalisation of records.
“Our goal is to make the country’s road among the 20 safest in the world by 2020 and all driving schools are advised to properly key into the DSSP and support it towards achieving set goals with the least friction,” Boboye added.
Mrs Nnena Akejemile, the National Coordinator, SERVICOM in the Presidency, said that the ways drivers’ training were delivered vary considerably from country to country.
Akejemile said that high quality schools produced excellent drivers, adding “classroom training and road tests are the most critical aspects in the life of a motoring public.
“It is important to know that driving school operators and instructors cannot give what they don’t have in terms of knowledge of road safety tips.
“All the driving instructors working in driving schools must be professional, properly licensed and must be well supervised,” she said.
According to her, no fewer than 2,598 Nigerians died from road accidents between October 2017 and March 2018 from records of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The SERVICOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) added that the NBS attributed the major causes of the crashes in the first quarter to speed violation which accounted for 50.8 per cent, tyre bursts and dangerous driving 8.3 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively.
She said that NBS report also showed that the number of national drivers licences produced in the first quarter increased from 214,256 to 223,107 in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“This is a reflection of the innovations introduced by FRSC; but lot needs to be done, with the statistics the critical role of driving schools cannot be over emphasised,” she added.
Mr Ladi Lawanson, the Commissioner for Transport, Lagos State, urged the driving schools not to issue death certificate to trainees instead of driver’s licence.
Lawanson, represented by Mr Opeyemi Salam, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport Lagos state, said “what you are issuing is not drivers licence, it is death certificate because it reflects on how people are driving on the road.
“Majority of drivers are not properly trained on driving and you issue certificates to them because of money.
“How many of us here can allow quacks to perform surgery on you at the hospital, or allow unqualified pilot to fly you in a plane, it is not possible but why are you putting drivers in that situation?,” he said.
Salam added that the state government, in partnership with FRSC, would establish driving schools across the five zones in the state with 10 brand new cars each.
“We appeal to you to allow your trainees finish their modules before issuing certificates to them to ensure sanity on our roads,” he added.