WITH the recent incessant crashes of tankers, Boboye Oyeyemi, corps marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, visited Salmon Oladiti, chairman of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers/Petroleum Tanker Drivers, NUPENG-PTD, in Abuja to register the concerns of the corps and that of government on the unwarranted loss of lives, loss of properties and damage to roads and the highways.
Bisi Kazeem, head, Media Relations and Strategy of the Corps, disclosed that in a no holds bar meeting with the NUPENG-PTD, Oyeyemi expressed his concerns that in the past two and a half weeks about 11 tankers had been involved in crashes, which prompted his visit in order to have a joint decision to arrest the trend.
According to Kazeem, the corps marshal noted that, “most tankers do not have valves and whenever they fall, there is spillage of fuel and a resultant inferno occurs”. He disclosed that it was against this backdrop that the corps marshal ordered the impoundment of any tanker without valves plying the Nigerian roads.
The corps marshal used the special occasion to advice the NUPENG-PTD on maintenance of their articulated vehicles, and as well ridding the roads of rickety tankers engaged in the business of transporting petroleum products.
In his response, Oladiti thanked the corps marshal for the respect he has for the union and enduring willingness to consult with the Union rather than wielding the big stick.
He revealed that on his part as the chairman of the union, he had devoted time to talking with the drivers, training them, and dissuading them from engaging in night journeys and other vices. Further, he said that the union engaged consultants in the past and equally set up task force to arrest recalcitrant tanker drivers.
He stated that nevertheless, he was ready to partner the FRSC to stem road carnage, and expressed his delight that the training and retraining of tanker drivers would start all over again in January. He used the occasion to invite the Oyeyemi to their next national executive committee, NEC, to talk to them on how best to use the highways and how to avoid crashes.
The Chairman gave thumbs up to the FRSC for the large deployment of men to Nigerian roads and advised the corps marshal to talk to construction companies to place adequate diversion signs around construction sites to help stem road carnages.
Salmon used the opportunity to send a word of appeal to the Federal Government to assist his Union and the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) in granting soft loans to fund replacement of rickety articulated vehicles plying the roads, as the recession has made it quite difficult for transport operators to fund the replacement on their own.
— Dec 1, 2016 @ 17:58 GMT