The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved compulsory special training for drivers in the convoys of Very Important Persons, including governors, ministers as well as heads of departments and parastatals.
The decision followed a report presented to the council by the Federal Road Safety Corps on the regular auto crashes involving the convoys of VIPs.
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and his Mines and Solid Minerals Development counterpart, Mr. Mohammed Sada, stated this after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
President Goodluck Jonathan is in Darvos, Switzerland where he is attending the World Economic Forum’s summit.
Maku said the council was unhappy with the FRSC report on the first in the series of such trainings it organised for drivers of governors, which he said showed that many of the drivers were unfit to drive.
The report, he added, revealed that many of the governors’ drivers had serious impairments that could lead to accidents.
He noted that the training was to make them physically and mentally fit to drive their bosses.
He said, “Following regular crashes of convoys of governors, the FRSC decided to organise regular training for drivers in the convoys of VIPs.
“In recent times, we have witnessed many crashes of convoys leading to loss of lives, the latest being that of the Kogi State governor. The FRSC has therefore decided to ensure that all drivers of VIPs, governors, and heads of MDAs are trained.
Maku said based on that revelation, the FEC approved that the corps should embark on the second phase of the training and include drivers of ministers and heads of parastatals.
The minister added that the council also commiserated with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, whose convoy was attacked by gunmen on Saturday.
Describing the Emir as highly cosmopolitan, the minister said the monarch was always committed to peaceful co-existence.
He added, “We condemn in totality, the attempt on his (Bayero’s) life. We pray for his recovery. The Federal Government will continue to hunt down those unleashing terror. We will continue to work hard until all of them are brought to justice. This incident will make all Nigerians to realise that what is happening is what we must all rise up to condemn.”
Sada said he briefed the council on a programme he attended last November in China and the Memorandum of Understanding the two countries signed.
He said the understanding comprised extraction, processing, and streaming of mineral resources, exchange of information, and transfer of technology, geographical data generation, capacity building and the establishment of a mineral laboratory that will be private sector driven.