Trucks without safety valve’ll no longer load fuel, FRSC insists
By Michael Eboh
Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, Thursday, disclosed that 80 per cent of the about 10,000 trucks transporting petroleum products across the country lacked critical safety features that are needed for safe transportation of the products by road.
This was as Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, stated that it is set to begin the enforcement of ‘no-safety-vale-no-loading policy’ to stem the alarming cases of killings on the roads caused by tankers and trucks.
Speaking in Abuja, at the ‘Truck Renewal Workshop’ organized by MOMAN and Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Oyebanji stated that the association was in talks with NARTO to discuss issues bordering on fleet renewal, aimed at ensuring the replacement of trucks in the fleet of transporters, which do not meet the safety requirements designated for the transportation of dangerous goods, such as petrol.
“With about ten thousand trucks involved all over the country hauling products majorly from the south to the north and about 80 per cent of these trucks do not have anti-skid, anti-rollover, anti-spill protection, automatic braking systems, onboard cameras and onboard tracking system required for safe transportation of petroleum products by road,” he explained.
Oyebanji, who affirmed that pipeline remained the most effective and efficient means of transporting petroleum products, however, stated that the idea of a ‘Truck renewal Plan’ was not novel to Nigeria, as it had been carried out in neighboring countries, whose trucks boast the requirement of safe petroleum transportation.
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He said: “All over the world, the transportation of petroleum products is carried out by pipelines, rails, and roads. The movement of the product by pipeline is considered the most efficient and safest compared to rail and road. The pipeline system, which was used in the early 1990s in Nigeria, had to be discontinued due to integrity issues on the pipeline which made road transportation become the major means of petroleum transportation in today’s Nigeria.
“MOMAN and NARTO believe that with the right framework the gradual replacement of unsafe trucks within the industry is possible. MOMAN had collaborated with Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in the past, to ensure adequate training of drivers and regular technical integrity inspection of trucks used in hauling products from our depots and we wish to extend this collaboration by replacing substandard trucks in the system that have been responsible for some accident mishap in recent times.”
Oyebanji disclosed that the collaboration between NARTO and MOMAN became critical in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, especially as the country moves into deregulation, where distribution margins are no longer guaranteed as efficiency in distribution and freight rate would be key parameters that will determine marketers that would stay competitive and afloat.
According to him, any marketer that is unable to manage her cost would fold up as they would have to compete with one another both in sales and distribution cost.
Also speaking, Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, blamed most of the road accidents on human factors, stating that these crashes could have been avoided if drivers were disciplined enough while on the road.
Saraki, who was represented by Assistant Director, Mass Transit Administration, Mrs Angela Keyede, expressed shock that road crashes had become a serious epidemic in Nigeria, producing more deaths than HIV/AIDs and Tuberculosis, TB, put together annually.
The minister stated that developing a strategic plan for controlling trucks on our roads and major highways is imperative, adding that one of the strategic plans is the development of Truck Transit Parks.
Going forward, she disclosed that as a way of enhancing transport safety in the country, drivers, particularly truck drivers must exhibit a positive attitude while driving.
In addition, Oyeyemi stated that all requirements stipulated in the Safe-To-Load, STL, programme including safety valve installation should be adhered to.
Oyeyemi, who bemoaned the fact that the country records an average of one accident per week, with an average of 90 deaths per week, adding that 90 per cent of articulated vehicles in the country are more than 30 years, requiring replacement.
He added that, henceforth, safety procedures at the loading bay and delivery ports would not be compromised, stating that conspicuous display of product labels and hazard levels must be implemented in line with the Agreement for Dangerous Roads (ADR).