Massive job-loss looms following UN resolution, paving way for driver-less cars


…As INEC tasks Customs, Immigration on foreigners influx, illegal possession of PVCs***

Mixed reactions have welcomed a resolution to enhance the safe use of automated vehicles passed at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Global Forum on Road Traffic Safety in Geneva, with industry watchers bemoaning the fate of several drivers in the third world, likely to be massively thrown into the labour market.

For while some joined the UNECE celebration that the automated vehicles had the potential to create safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly transport system, Africans fully understood that a reasonable percentage of its workforce, the often illiterate drivers would be hard hit.

The UN Commission said the resolution could reshape the entire sectors of the economy and improve the lives of millions of people, notably those unable to drive or with limited access to mobility.
UNECE agrees it is still fine tuning many questions, particularly those relating to areas such as road safety standards, traffic rules, insurance regimes, cyber security and data protection and which must be addressed before the mass introduction of driver-less cars to the market.

The resolution offered recommendations to ensure the safe interaction between automated vehicles, and road users, and stressed the key role that people needed to play, whether as responsible drivers, occupants or on the road in general.

“With this resolution, we are paving the way for the safe mobility of the future, for the benefit of all road users” said UNECE official, Luciana Iorio.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has tasked the Customs, Immigration amongst other security agencies on issues of a seemingly unrestrained foreigners’ influx into the country, often with PVC, ahead of 2019 elections.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Sam Olumekun, made the appeal during an Inter-Agency Consultative Meeting on Election Security in Lagos on Wednesday. The representatives of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigerian Prisons, NDLEA, FRSC, NCS, NIS, Prisons  also attended the meeting.

Olumekun said that no credible election could hold without adequate security, saying that security of personnel, materials and voters were key to credible elections.

“There is a need for strong collaboration between immigration and customs departments to deal with the problem of alien voters.

“There is a lot of work to do in this respect as 2019 elections approaches in Lagos because of the borders that we have here,” the INEC boss said.

He stressed the need to mop up foreigners in possession of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in error during the just-concluded Continous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise across the country.

Olumekun said the police was critical in ensuring security during elections, adding that the Nigerian Airforce and Nigerian Navy would assist INEC in accessing difficult terrains in election security.

The INEC commissioner expressed concerned over uncollected PVCs in the state totaling 1.4 million.

“We have a lot of PVCs with us in INEC yet to be collected. We have to focus on this issue in the next phase of our activities to get these cards to their owners. We enjoin all stakeholders to mobilise people for the collection.

Olumekun said that no fewer than 786,839 new registrants were captured during the CVR exercises in the state, which brought the total number of registered voters in the state to 6, 609, 115 voters.

In his remarks, Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Imohimi Edgal, said that heads of various security agencies were meeting regularly to ensure a hitchfree election in 2019.

“We are here to fashion out watertight security ahead of 2019 general elections.

“By the end of this meeting, we will come up with a blueprint which we will follow tenaciously to ensure that the 2019 general elections are free, fair and peaceful with little or no security hitches,” he said.

Imohimi said that security agents had updated its list of flash and hot spots to check violence and would intensify efforts at identifying foreigners in possession of PVCs.