Shippers Council, FRSC partner to set standards for trucks  

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) are collaborating to set minimum standards for trucks as well as for drivers, for effective implementation.

The development was made known when the FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, paid a working visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council on Monday in Lagos.

Oyeyemi expressed the Federal Government’s intention to scrap trucks that are up to 30 years old from Nigerian roads, while making known that 90 per cent of the trucks operating on the nation’s roads were over 30 years old.

Speaking on the state of the operating trucks, Oyeyemi emphasized the importance and need for standardization schemes for vehicles as most of them lack safety measures including lighting , reflectors and other parts.

He noted that due to age of the trucks they usually breakdown on the road and prolong the days spent on movement of goods from the ports to their final destinations.

“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.

The corps marshal also frowned on the practice of parking of trucks on the bridges; an act he said would reduce the lifespan of the bridges.

Speaking on the Vehicle Transit Area (VTA) project, Oyeyemi suggested that it was important to have more stakeholder engagement to produce results and that it should not be by enforcement.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello, 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 towards providing solutions to transport infrastructure deficit and other operational challenges of 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.

He stated that other road users would also benefit from the project as it would ensure safety.

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 mechanic workshops, hotels, health centre, police posts, fuel stations, warehousing, weighbridge, fire services, cave area, and others.

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