The case for good vehicles on the road in Nigeria

The case for good vehicles on the road in Nigeria
The case for good vehicles on the road in Nigeria -

The need for good running vehicles in Nigeria is being underrated by the government of Nigeria and it’s citizens. Our relaxed policies on vehicle importation have lead to the current state of things in Nigeria. According to the New report by United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP), Millions of used Cars, Vans and minibuses exported from Europe, the united states and japan to the developing world are of poor quality, contributing to air pollution and hindering efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The case for good vehicles on the road in Nigeria
The case for good vehicles on the road in Nigeria –

This report shows that 14 million used light-duty vehicles were exported worldwide between 2015 – 2018, it was reported that 80 per cent went to low and middle- income countries, with more than half going to Africa. The report based on an in-depth analysis of 146 countries found out that two-thirds of these countries have weak policies that regulate the import of used vehicles.

Netherlands happens to be one of the exporters of used vehicles from Europe, however, most of the exports do not have a valid roadworthiness certificate at the time of export. Most of these vehicles were between 16 to 20 years old and mostly fall below EURO4 European Union emission standards. Sadly, the average age of used vehicles exported to the Gambia is close to 19 years old while a quarter of used vehicles exported to Nigeria were almost 20 years old.

What is a used vehicle of 20 years old doing on a Nigerian road? A country where the maintenance culture is very low and yet we have used Vehicles of 20 years old being bought in order to use on a Nigerian road and that same vehicle would probably be resold after being used for a while to another person.

If you get to enter a ‘Danfo bus’ or the bigger version known as ‘molue’ then you know the struggles that passengers face with this “daku daji” or stop and start kind of vehicles that stop unexpectedly and probably needs help from passengers to push.

These vehicles also cause air pollution and harm to humans. People who wait for buses or cab or even pass by are forced to inhale the smoke of a 20 years old vehicle that has seen all the struggles of life. In a country like Nigeria where we hardly maintain things, then how can we allow 20 years old vehicles to be dumped into Nigeria.

Using Morroco as a case study, we can learn one or two things from them as they only permit used vehicles less than five years and only those that meet the EURO4 European vehicles emission standard; as a result, it receives only relatively advanced and clean used vehicles from Europe. Our government needs to implement measures to govern the import of used vehicles with an emphasis on vehicle age and emissions standards.

In the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated road traffic fatalities in Nigeria at 39,802, while the estimated rate per 100,000 deaths stood at 21.4. This numbers would keep increasing if nothing is being done to address issues caused by importation of vehicles that lack roadworthiness. The use of poor quality vehicles leads to accidents and according to United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) report, many of the countries with “very weak” or “weak” used vehicles regulations, including Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Burundi, also have very high road traffic death rates. Countries that have introduced used vehicles regulations also see safer fleets and fewer accidents.

What this indicates is that the Nigerian government and people have to work hand in hand to change the quality of vehicles on the road. The government has to come up with strong policies and measures concerning the importation of used vehicles in the country as this would force those importers to only order for quality vehicles.

Also, there would be a need for partnership between Nigeria and countries that export used vehicles in order to ensure that there is compliance with the standards set by the Nigerian government concerning import.

The belief is that this would be a game-changer in the quality of vehicles that are brought to Nigeria and it would ensure a safer road and a slight reduction in traffic as bad vehicles aid breakdown of vehicles on our busy roads. The introduction of a strict and strong policy would also reduce the air pollution that comes in the form of black smoke disguised as Angel of death that causes harm to the human health and wellbeing of planet earth.


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