Since nature abhors a vacuum even for a millisecond, and in line with extant laws, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Dauda Ali Biu as the acting Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps last Monday.
Of course, his appointment is no longer new considering that it happened some few days ago following the retirement and exit from service of Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the immediate past Corps Marshal of the road safety agency.
Ever since the announcement, there has been a tributary of commendations and revelatory posts mostly on social media indicating that the appointment, though in an acting capacity, is right on the money as it is that of being a round peg in a round hole.
Hear Mallam Nasir Dambatta, a student of the new acting Corps Marshal, when the latter was a Mathematics teacher, decades ago, long before he joined the FRSC:
„Buhari has certainly displayed exemplary wisdom with the appointment of Biu, a man whose leadership, sacrifice, statesmanship, patriotism and unwavering commitment to the interests of the people of Northern Nigeria, and citizens of Nigeria as a whole have few parallels in our nation.
„As Biu‘s students, we feel proud to say that we drew and shall continue to draw inspiration from his life and works and shall continue to strive, in all we do, to live by the personal and social values and standards he has lived and set for himself as a citizen, subject, and leader.“
Is there any testimonial that can be better said about a man who started impacting life right from humble beginnings oblivious of what the future held for him decades ago? His must be a case of: do good always wherever you are not minding whoever may be looking at you.
But beyond the social media commendation, who is Biu, the new acting Corps Marshal of the FRSC? Corps Marshal Dauda Ali Biu was born in the year 1964 in Zaria, Kaduna State. The seasoned road safety professional hails from Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State.
According to information made available to the public by the Corps‘ spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, Biu joined the services of the Federal Road Safety Corps in 1988 and rose through hard work, dedication and commitment to the rank of Deputy Corps Marshal before his latest elevation to the rank of acting corps marshal.
As expected, he has held several positions of authority within the Corps so numerous to mention which exposed him to diverse operations associated with the agency.
Before his appointment as the Acting Corps Marshal, Biu was in charge of the Finance and Accounts Department at the national headquarters Abuja.
He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) (2006) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting (1984) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State.
His professional qualifications include but are not limited to the following;
Certified National Accountant 2010 Certified Public Accountant 2018 Biu has also attended several courses outside the shores of the country which include: the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference Chicago, USA (2019) World Conference of Accountants Sydney, Australia (2018) California Highway Patrol Academy Sacramento, USA (2016) Transport Research Board meeting Washington DC, USA (2014) Diamond School of Protocol and Etiquette Emotional Intelligence (2013) International Financial Reporting Standards SWAT Valley United Kingdom (2012) and of course, Performance Management Beyond the Balanced Scorecard Cranfield University, United Kingdom (2013).
Within the country, the newly appointed Acting Corps Marshal attended the Guards Brigade, the Nigerian Army Special Arms Bearing Training for Senior FRSC Officer (2013) and Flitch Institute of Directors Effective Governance Workshop Lagos, Nigeria Guards Brigade (2012) among others.
Also, the seasoned and experienced senior officer is a member of a number of professional bodies among which include; International Association of Police (IACP), Association of National Accountants Ireland (CPA), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and Transport Research Board USA.
Others are the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Army Resource Centre (NARC) etc.
Now, taking into cognizance the myriad of experiences he has garnered over the years coupled with the numerous relevant academic qualifications in his kitty, there is no gainsaying the fact that the expectations from the acting Corps Marshal to deliver and even surpass the achievements of his predecessors remain high.
By every means possible, the new acting Corps Marshal is expected to build and improve on the legacies of his predecessors in office, especially the immediate past -Boboye Oyeyemi and the one before- Osita Chidoka, who rebranded the Corps and gave it a more befitting public face.
Besides, to gain maximum cooperation of his colleagues and extract unparalleled commitment to their duties and responsibilities, Biu is expected to show more commitment to the welfare of the men and officers of the Corps. This will enable them to be more committed to the actualisation of the aims, objectives, mission and vision of the corps.
One way to build trust in the system, which is a necessity for boosting productivity, is to ensure that promotion is merit-driven and devoid of influence-peddling, connections from above and other ‚Nigerian factors.‘
It‘s the same with recruitment into the system. Only those who are passionate about road safety with the necessary and requisite qualifications should be considered for recruitment into the Corps henceforth.
The Corps under the new leadership is expected to be more proactive in its response to emergencies on our highways, though it has to be said the Corps is trying given the limitations hindering its operations. But there‘s room for improvement in this regard.
Officially, the statistics about road accidents are still very high in the country. The Corps exists primarily to help stem the tide of accidents on our highways and minimise them to the bare minimum. One way to do this is continuous and aggressive public enlightenment and sensitization of motorists and other road users on the need for them to observe all safety rules, keep to approved speed limits, and ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, among others. The Corps is charged never to compromise on issues of safety. That way, the frequency of accidents on our roads can be reduced.
Other things being equal, the acting Corps Marshal needs to ensure serious compliance with transparency and accountability in the operations of the Corps under this watch. This will enhance improved productivity, block leakages in the system and also energise the confidence and trust of the public in the Corps.
Be that as it may, the expectations are huge but then, based on the imprints of excellence and commitment to ethical values, the new acting Corps Marshal will deliver on his mandate as he cannot afford to let down his guard. There is a lot to do to improve the performance and efficiency of the Corps. The time is now. The appointing authority, President Buhari, is also watching.
By the way, here‘s my huge congratulations to you, sir, on the new appointment. It‘s my wish that you meet the public‘s expectations and even surpass them.