Key stakeholders in the transport sector have assured of great support to the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in its initiatives to prevent road accidents involving tankers and trailers across the country.
The stakeholders include the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas, PTD-NUPENG; National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW; National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN.
They gave the assurance at the weekend during a meeting called by the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi.
According to the Corps Public Education Officer, FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, Oyeyemi, in his presentation at the meeting stressed the need to stem the tide of increased accidents involving trailers and tankers.
He noted that apart from the economic losses resulting from the crashes, the level of destruction to human lives was enormous and unacceptable.
He therefore called on the stakeholders to come together to adopt preventive measures.
The Corps Marshal gave instances of the economic loss to the nation where a single trailer is lost to a crash, not to talk of when multitudes are recorded in a year as was experienced last year.
He expressed dismay at the situation where despite the inauguration of inter-ministerial committee on tanker/trailer crashes by the federal government, the rate of crashes has not abated.
He said stakeholders must rededicate themselves to preventive measures.
He further noted that with the numbers and level of destruction caused by tankers/trailer crashes last year, the losses attributed to the menace was estimated to about N39 billion.
This he said was unacceptable and must be curtailed by all means possible.
He thanked the stakeholders for always honouring invitations to meetings with personal presence of the leadership.
In their separate remarks, the chairmen of Drivers’ PTD-NUPENG, Salmon Oladiti; NURTW, Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin; NARTO, Alhaji Ibrahim Bataiya and representative RTEAN were unanimous in their condemnation of the rising cases of road crashes involving tankers and trailers.
They therefore expressed commitment to working with the FRSC to address the menace.
While NUPENG-PTD chairman disclosed that about 75% of the crashes involving tankers and trailers occurred in the night, he canvassed the need for sustained efforts on training and retraining programmes which the union, in conjunction with the FRSC commenced last year.
The NURTW chairman on his own part vowed to discourage non-licensed drivers from being members of the union and stressed the need for strict enforcement strategies to discourage quacks in the profession.
The representative of RTEAN chairman on the other hands assured that his union would work closely with the Corps on the modalities for preventing the crashes, adding that the association discouraged its members from operating in the night.
Furthermore, NARTO chairman called for more stringent punishment to drivers whose vehicles kill people to serve as deterrence to others.
He further stressed the need to involve more stakeholders especially from the ministries of transportation, works and justice for collective responsibility in the campaign.
Collectively, the stakeholders resolved on the need for more trainings for drivers; periodic testing of the drivers against drugs and alcoholic drinks to guide against alcoholism and drug addict; compulsory use of safety valves by tanker drivers to guide against fuel spillage in the event of a crash.
It was also resolved that Corps Marshal should meet with the Minister of Works, Power and Housing to emphasise the need to revitalise weighbridges across the country and introduce toll-gates/fees, proceeds of which could be used for prompt road repairs.
They also called on FRSC to step up enforcement to bring recalcitrant drivers to order.
The stakeholders commended the Corps Marshal for the leadership he has shown in managing the affairs of the FRSC and leading stakeholders to creating safer road environment through public awareness and partnership initiatives.