A deadly accident happened on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway on Monday.
A truck owned by the Dangote Group, which was coming into Lagos, had a brake failure at the border between Lagos and Ogun and crashed into a billboard, causing a multiple collision involving six vehicles.
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) says 14 people were badly injured, while one person died. An eyewitness said FRSC responded instantly to rescue people and clear the scene.
The nearby FRSC station is less than a minute away. Sunday Omafu, the commandant of the station said, “Proximity is not necessarily a factor. We have units that patrol the expressway under our cover, and they have a mandate to detect emergencies and radio us here at the station. Then we respond immediately. FRSC has stations strategically spread out on all expressways so that our men can move in during any emergency within 15 minutes. We do our job.”
The Dangote Group has a history of truck accidents. In the last four years alone, there have been numerous deadly accidents involving Dangote trucks, all attributed to a driving or mechanical failure.
Last year, one of their trucks swerved and knocked down people passing by in Ibesa, Ogun.
An furious mob burnt down the truck at once.
There was another one in Lokoja in 2012, where a Dangote truck reportedly had a brake failure and the driver slammed his vehicle into a passenger bus fatally.
Another fatal Dangote truck accident happened in 2010, among others. The combined death toll in this four-year period is disturbing, and all this is coming from one corporation.
FRSC commander Omafu called these recurrent Dangote truck accidents “a national issue.”
He said, “We’ve tried to speak with the company about their drivers, but this is an issue that needs to be addressed at the national level.
Our experience with the corporation’s drivers show they have some degree of incompetence and little education. It’s even a problem communicating with many of them. But we try to talk to them about their driving.”
The FRSC is responsible for road safety on federal expressways.
Omafu said, “We have an emergency number that anyone who witnesses an emergency can call free of charge to alert us. It’s 122.
“We also try to ensure that we educate bus drivers and others about road safety. We go out four times a week to visit motor parks and educate drivers about safe driving and vehicle road worthiness. Our efforts are quite paying off, and accidents have actually reduced on expressways these days.”
Dangote is the largest corporation in Nigeria and the largest employer of labour, next to the federal government.
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