The federal government has instituted a mandatory certification of all haulage vehicles to be carried out twice in twelve calendar months.
Also, the importation of haulage vehicles exceeding 10 years from date of manufacture would be stopped with effect from 01/01/2020.
These are some of the outcomes of a ‘Stakeholders’ Forum for Haulage Operators in Nigeria’, which was held at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja, recently.
The forum was convened after the recent Road Traffic Crash (RTC) on Otedola Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway where over 55 vehicles were burnt with multiple fatalities recorded.
The SGF’s consultative forum, which was attended by all stakeholders from the private sector and Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, was called to evolve an all-inclusive strategy that would bring about a lasting solution to the menace of RTCs involving haulage and other related vehicles on Nigerian roads.
Also endorsed at the end of the meeting, for immediate implementation is the compulsory installation of standard speed limiters in all haulage vehicles in Nigeria; Tankers without safety valves and the required number plates will henceforth be disallowed from loading; The Safe-To-Load programme would continue to be enforced by relevant Agencies at all loading points; Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other relevant Agencies should immediately harmonise operating safety requirements at all Tank Farms;
Periodic checks of haulage vehicles must be carried out at relevant loading points; and payment of National Transportation Allowance (NTA) and bridging claims to tanker operators will henceforth be contingent on compliance to minimum safety standards.
The forum participants said single operators of haulage vehicles must be duly registered with National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and comply with RTSSS provisions; FRSC should establish appropriate command and control centers to monitor and ensure safety on the highways;
Continuous public enlightenment by FRSC and other relevant stakeholders should be conducted at all loading points of haulage vehicles and their Rest Areas; Federal Highways (Control of Dimensions, Weights and Axle Load of Heavy Duty Goods Transport Vehicles) regulations (2018) will be enforced;
Loading limits as approved by Government will be enforced;
Government will work closely with the Bank of Industry and other financial institutions towards the establishment of a Fleet Acquisition Renewal Scheme for haulage operators.
Haulage vehicles conveying hazardous materials must be clearly labelled in conformity with the highway code;
The Forum endorsed the convocation of bi-annual meetings in order to sustain Government engagement with stakeholders to exchange ideas and share information for the sustenance of safer road management in the country; The Forum equally agreed that an Inter-Ministerial Stakeholders Committee should be set-up to ensure the effective implementation of the Plan of Action; and
The Inter-Ministerial Stakeholders Committee must brief Government on the progress of the implementation of the Plan of Action on a monthly basis.