There is no doubt that driving is a complex and task demanding activities that requires a good driving skills and knowledge, road-worthy vehicle and conducive road environment.
This mechanical construct called “motor vehicle” is used for both private or commercial purposes on all roads and it plays a vital role in modern industrial economic and social development. Motor vehicle offers convenient and reliable mobility on demand for daily transactions.
You hardly see any person who will not have connection (directly or indirectly) with the issue of transportation in a day. Recent academic studies have revealed that there is positive correlation between the increased numbers of vehicles and higher rate of accidents most especially in developing countries. Besides, motor vehicles are becoming serious environmental threat with both noise and air pollution because of the petrol fumes which is regarded as poisonous gas. This is a great (un-notice) health hazard to all inhabitants living in both cities and urban areas. Invariably, it is the responsibility of the state government for her citizen to live in an un-polluted environment.
There is rapid growth in numbers of vehicles in Nigeria according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data of the third quarter of 2017 which revealed 11,547,236 motor vehicles in the country. About 4, 656,725 of these vehicles were privately owned, 6,749,461 vehicles were registered as commercial vehicles, 135,216 vehicles were registered as government vehicles and while 5,834 were diplomats registered vehicles.
Calculating this figures with 193.3 million Nigerians, the NBS data suggests that the total number of Nigerians available to one vehicle is 16.75. This present great opportunities for automobile production and assembly in Nigeria while at the same time is of great importance for transport sector policy to make motor vehicle inspection administration as state policy in combating road traffic accidents with road worthy vehicles on Nigerian roads. It execution will generate employment and revenue for the State.
In addition to the numbers of registered vehicles in Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also recently disclosed that 2,598 Nigerians died in road accidents between October, 2017 and March 2018 and that 15,815 people sustained various injuries during the six months period data. The WHO published in 2017 the number of causalities as 37,562 deaths on Nigerian roads. Different reasons were attributed as the major causes which include; speed limit violation, dangerous driving, loss of vehicle control, tyre bursts, among others. The Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye O Oyeyemi revealed in a paper titled; Road Safety Management Policy and Strategy Development: The Nigeria Experience (2014-2018) that a loss of 3 % of Nigeria´s GDP due to road traffic casualties from 1960 to 2017.
Meanwhile, the issues raised and discussed above explain the increase alarming growth in road traffic deaths and injuries due to human errors and bad state of vehicles. This is the reason why it is more important and obligatory to adopt Motor Vehicle Inspection Administration policy in all the States of the federation including FCT as a tool in combating road traffic accidents on our roads. This development will take care of the residual status of the MVIA in the country´s constitution. The MVIA as a directorate of the ministry of transportation should be given full responsibilities of supervision of driving practical and theory examinations, driving school certification and registration, to control (check), inspect, investigate (on accident vehicle) and enforce the road worthiness status and laws of all motor vehicles in each state. Each motor vehicle in the state should comply with the federal Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulation (or National Vehicle Inspection Manual) requirements for testing engine, safety and combustion control standards.
The issue of driving theory examinations can be in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) which can as well collate the theory examinations in different languages spoken in Nigeria. Besides, apart from foreign road traffic safety courses periodically, the NITT, Zaria should be given full responsibilities to train more Motor Vehicle Inspectors, Driver Trainers, Fuelers (concerning all fluid revels), Licensed Technicians, Mechanics and make them accountable to perform their duties in accordance with the national vehicle inspection criteria.
Road worthiness testing has been regarded as one of best ways to improve road safety in developing countries. Nigeria has a bi-annual inspection system for commercial vehicles and this services should be extended to private cars as well as all category of heavy vehicles plying Nigerian roads.
A particular motor vehicle has a lot of components to be in order for safe driving and safety of all road users. Most inspection checklists apart from the basic vehicle background information and maintenance history, should include the following; Foot-brakes, Emergency brake (parking brake), Brake lights, Steering mechanism, Tyres condition / inflation, Air filter, Engine oil, Shock Absorbents / Struts, Safety belts for the driver and passengers, Head-lights, Tail lights, Windshield wipers, Horn, Rear-view mirrors, Speedometer, Interior and Exterior rear-view, Chassis / Under-body, Doors (open, close, lock), Bumpers, Muffler, Front Seat adjustment, and Exhaust system. All these should be fairly and carefully examined, inspected and evaluated.