Why young female FRSC personnel must wait for two years before marriage – Evaluation head

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Head, Managing and Evaluation, Federal Road Safety Commission, Emma Fekoya, told TEMITOPE AINA how the posting of married women by the agency affects marriages and households, and how the problem can be addressed

Can you share your experience on the job?

One of my biggest experiences in the job is meeting people, interacting with them, and relating with them. I get to meet people and solve problems. We do a lot of rescue work, such as rescuing people from death. Adding value to people’s lives brings joy to me, especially those who are ignorant of the use of the road. I consider it a blessing that I can teach people how to use the road since it makes me happy to know that I have improved road users’ driving abilities. I think it’s good that we’re being proactive in averting crashes rather than turning into undertakers. I consider that a blessing.

What are the major challenges in the job, especially for women?

Posting is a problem that women generally encounter, and I believe it affects every other agency as well. It is an extremely terrible scenario to be posted away from your family. You must now use a proxy to operate your house. You have to look after your family while away. It is a significant task. It’s a difficult task emotionally on its own, but you will have to retrain yourself to survive, which is a difficult task for women in general. This is something you cannot change for the time being. However, I have got better at transforming obstacles into chances for me to pursue my goals over time. Thus, they are no longer challenges in my eyes. They seem to me to be catalysts for progress.

Do you think this challenge makes married women in the agency lose their marriages or have to choose between their homes and careers?

It has affected a countless number of homes. Since I lack the necessary data, I am unable to assign a percentage to it. All I can say is that a lot of houses and people have been split up. This posting issue has destroyed a lot of households. You can’t keep coming up with reasons to skip work, not even in the most remote locations. Because of this issue, the majority of agencies prefer that we remain single for two years in the FRSC. We therefore dedicate ourselves for the first two years because, as women, employers must naturally safeguard their jobs after marriage results in pregnancy. We understand that aspect of the job. But we can’t rule out the fact that it affects a woman. Because once you’re married and you get pregnant, you’re no longer the same person. So it has a way of affecting everyone, except for some strong women; yes, they choose to remain the same.

The others are thrilled that they can help themselves. That’s just their personality. That transformation has changed them a lot. And if you add transfers to some other places to it, it is devastating.

What actions is the agency taking to lower the rate of transfers of female personnel?

I am aware that the present Corps Marshall holds the opinion that transfers ought to take place inside your zone. Thus, you don’t travel very far in a unique way. I would like to think that the organisation is investigating further ways to assist further regarding these problems, but some cannot be implemented. But I am aware that they are looking for solutions.

What are the major obstacles that the agency’s personnel are faced with?

The public’s acceptance ranks first. People only accept us when we respond to emergencies; when we use force, they object to that part of it. Naturally, you spank a misbehaving child like a mother would, and we implement that as a corrective action. There are minimums when it comes to our fine rates. It is therefore a corrective action. Even though the fines are only N2,000, N3,000, and N5,000, you can still witness people acting very combatively. We have, for the most part, disagreed on that matter rather than accepting the correction.

What are the major causes of accidents on the road and how can they be prevented?

We continually remind people that everyone has a shared responsibility for road safety. We have everything we need if we all take responsibility for using the roads safely and make sure that those around us do the same. However, many individuals are not prepared due partly to ignorance; and then, there is attitude.

The fact that some of these signs are continually appearing makes me ignorant in that I have no idea how to use the road, either as a pedestrian or a driver. Many times, there are a lot of people who are not prepared to learn. The goal of road safety education is to teach you how to drive.

By even establishing platforms, we have gone one step further. We visit your premises at a time that works best for you, asking questions and ensuring that you understand how to use the road. If they’re not ready, how many will open their doors to us? There is still ignorance.

I am aware that I am a driver and that I must fasten my seat belt. However, I won’t use it again. I do not wish to be put under any duress by anyone. That is an issue with attitude. Even though I know I should be doing this, I won’t. However, I hold off until I spot any of the agencies driving by.

We’ll all have it simple if we all assume ownership and responsibility for concerns about road safety, but we just live it for the agency. Each person is an expert in their own right. Then these cars will still be with us. The government built the highways to make things easier for people. We tell them that speed kills because it gives them a rush.

What steps does the agency intend to take to discipline officials who take bribes?

The road safety industry is a disciplined one. We also don’t waste time on unnecessary flushes. Yes, in accordance with the blockchain, anyone found wanting is handled according to the laws. The laws are to guide and respond to recalcitrant personnel. You can find them everywhere. The laws help to correct, mould, or punish those found wanting. The FRSC is a disciplined organisation and won’t take it kindly with any staff member who is found wanting after an appropriate investigation is carried out. Disciplinary measures ranging from a query for officers to fatigue for junior marshals to dismissal from the corps are spelled out in the order of the offence(s) committed if found guilty.

Are there any aspects of your work that you regret? If so, what are they?

My only regret back then was that I neglected to pick up my daughter from school since I was so focused on my work. She was the only person still at the gate when I remembered and arrived at the school. And she asked, ‘Why mommy?’ That’s the reason for my regret at the time; I felt so horrible that I considered quitting my job.

What general advice do you have for members of the public for their safety?

First, I will ask them to possess a copy of the Nigeria High Way Code. The Nigeria Highway Code is a manual for every road user. Basic information about the road and how to use the road safely is documented there. Secondly, for drivers, please ensure you attend an accredited driving school and are licensed to drive. Do not let your safety be determined by others. Also, ensure you are visible on the road, either day or night. Don’t overtake at bends or cross the road in between parked vehicles or at bends where you are not easily seen. At night, ensure that you wear reflective clothing or use a reflective jacket.

Ensure that you are healthy enough to use the road, either as a pedestrian or a driver. The motoring public is advised to ensure that their eyesight and hearing are checked. Some are long-sighted, short-sighted, or have partial blindness, and are ignorantly using the road without knowledge of their eye status. Some have been knocked down or they knock down others as a result of this. Being on the road needs 100 per cent concentration. You can’t afford to be distracted. It’s dangerous.

You must apply emotional intelligence to the use of the road, especially now more than ever before. This will help eradicate every form of road rage, tailgating, etc. The safety tips are inexhaustible, as the vehicles that convey members of the public are meant to be in good condition to ensure safe movement.

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