Again, the Lagos State University School of Transport and Logistics has won another research grant in the global arena.
This time around, it is the Volvo Educational and Research Foundation award grant to the value of SEK500,000 (Swedish Krona — approximately 50,000 dollars).
The winning research team is led by Prof Odewunmi Samuel of the LASU School of Transport, Ojo, Lagos.
Prof Odewunmi Samuel, research team leader
The grant, according to the transportation-biased academic, is to enable the institution to contribute to policy guidelines on how to minimise road and water accidents in some African cities, namely Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.
Prof, Samuel Odewunmi, the research team leader and a former Dean of the LASU School of Transport and Logistics, made this known in a virtual press briefing on Wednesday, in Lagos.
The theme of the research topic is: Comparative Study of Water and Road Traffic Crashes in Selected Cities in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.
Prof. Odewunmi who is reputed for his winning spirit and feat as a former Dean of the LASU School of Transport and Logistics explained that the research proposal was submitted to Volvo Education and Research Foundation (VREF) in June 2022 to obtain the number, pattern, causes, injuries and fatalities of road and water accidents in the selected cities of study.
Giving hindsight into the background of the proposal that led to the award, the well-travelled LASU don further revealed that:
“We examined the phenomena of travel accidents on the roads and waterways of three selected cities in West and East Africa.
“We (the research team) discovered that the studies of road traffic crashes are extensive, but studies on accidents on waterways are rarer, while cities with water bodies have urban forms with peculiar safety and environmental challenges.
“Safety policies are (generally) well formulated and communicated to enlighten citizens, but this is less so for water transportation, especially for the local boat and ferry operators mostly patronised by the urban poor.
“Hence accidents are common, with many of them unreported”.
The transport expert added that the research objectives included a comparative analysis of the data among the cities and between the modes.
According to him, the study area will also entail the evaluation of the safety regulations, enforcement and enlightenment in the cities in view.
Odewunmi identified other co-researchers outside the core LASU crew in the team as Prof Kazeem Adebiyi of then of LAUTECH, Ogbomoso and currently the Rector of Polytechnic, Ibadan and Prof Abane Albert of the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana; Prof GITURO Wainaina, Business and Management Sciences Dept, University of Nairobi Kenya and
Prof. Karen Lucas, School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) at The University of Manchester. UK as the lead consultant.
Prof Odewunmi briefed journalist on the virtual platform on details of the Research questions as follow:
What are the numbers of accidents and casualties on the roads and waterways of the selected coastal cities?
“What are the causes and patterns of the accidents?
“What are the differences and similarities in the data among the cities and between the two modes;
“What are the differences and similarities in the safety regulatory framework in the three countries?
Odewunmi hinted that the team of researchers would employ interviews as the Primary data model with relevant stakeholders and field observations in order to document some cases of real-life incidences and casualties over a three months period while the second would be from journals, books, and newspapers on/offline and the appropriate authorities.
The ever-explicit professor remains enthusiastic that the research, on completion, would contribute to the understanding of the mobility safety issues in cities with road and water transport systems and contribute to policy guidelines on how to minimise accidents.
It is worthy of mention that the LASU School of Transport and Logistics has worked itself to the enviable position of a global Centre of Excellence for Transport Research and Education.
It has so far received several streams of young scholars from Ghana and South Africa for mentoring sponsored by VREF.
Prof Odewunmi bled gratitude to VREF for its continued support for research and educational development in Africa.
This is even as expressed immense appreciation to Prof Olatunji Ibiyemi-Bello, the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University for allowing an enabling environment for the LASU School of Transport team to operate and keep achieving the feats.