The Nigerian Shippers Council and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has on Monday signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set standards for truck owners and drivers for effective implementation.
During a visit to the Shippers tower in Apapa, Lagos on Monday, FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi expressed intention of the government to scrap trucks that are 30 years old from operating on Nigerian roads.
According to him, 90 per cent of trucks operating on Nigerian roads are over 30 years and there is need for constant renewal.
On the state of the trucks ,Oyeyemi called for an improvement on the maintenance and standardisation schemes for vehicles as most of them lacked safety measures like lighting, reflectors and other parts.
Oyeyemi pointed out that “due to the age of the trucks, they frequently breakdown on the road, prolonging the days goods spend on the road before getting to its destination”.
The Corps Marshal said while on his way for the programme, he passed through the third mainland bridge and saw trucks lining up on the bridge going toward Apapa, adding that the situation was not good.
He said bridges are not meant to carry fixed trucks , saying that when there is such a scenario, the lifespan of the bridges are being reduced.
“Also, there is decay in the vehicle inspection system in the country, most of the trucks are not road worthy and this poses a serious threat to road users.
“When these trucks break down, the goods will not get to its destination as scheduled and this affects the end users,” he said.
Oyeyemi added that as regards the Vehicle Transit Area (VTA) project, more stakeholders engagement are needed to produce results and it should not be by enforcement.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Barrister Hassan Bello on his part said the MoU signed was to generate a database on trucks, training, VTA implementation, public education and enlightenment and others.
He noted that the meeting was to deliberate on the way forward toward providing solutions to transport infrastructure deficit and other operational challenges to cargo movement.
Bello added that the corps marshal’s support of the council’s projects and activities had accelerated the achievements of major milestones in the development of critical infrastructure for trade facilitation.
He said to facilitate the development of critical transport infrastructure that supported trade and enforced standards, the council was promoting two major transport infrastructures, namely Inland Dry Ports and VTA project.
According to him, the NSC conceptualised the development of the Truck Transit Park, now VTA, to provide convenient rest areas for truckers.
Bello stated that other road users would also benefit from the project as it would ensure safety as 90 per cent of trucks operating on Nigerian roads are over 30 years , according to the Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC).
“NSC also has the mandate to ensure efficient and effective service delivery is enforced across the transport chain.
According to him, the partnership between the NSC and the FRSC has recorded reasonable landmarks, especially in traffic management and safety of cargo in transit.
Mr Nanbol Nanle, the Assistant Director, Inland Transport Service Department, NSC, noted that the VTA project would need a public-private partnership to thrive.
Nanle pointed out that the main objective of the project was to provide a place of rest for truck operators, and a measure of comfort for them to reduce fatigue and accidents on the roads.
He said that the facility would include a mechanic workshops, hotels, health centre, police posts, fuel stations, warehousing, weighbridge, fire services, cave area, and others.