By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate on Tuesday, mandated its committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to investigate the level of compliance to road safety legislations amongst haulage operators, owners and drivers.
The upper chamber also mandated the committee to investigate adoption and implementation of the recommendations from the 2018 haulage operators stakeholders’ summit among all relevant stakeholders.
The Senate’s resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored by Sen. Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo) during plenary and co-sponsored by 12 senators.
The motion was entitled, “Urgent Need to Reduce Accidents Involving Trucks and Articulated Lorries on our Highways”.
Senate had also urged the Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) to clamp down on trucks and articulated lorries plying the highways without road safety requirements.
While moving the motion, Folarin noted that Nigeria still relied on trucks and articulated lorries for the movement of goods and products into, within and out of the country in spite of the continued loss of lives and property caused by such vehicles.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) loads on average, 1, 255 trucks laden with petroleum products for dispatch daily, with demand and supply chain concluded through road transport in tanker trailers.
“In 2017, there were 779 recorded Road Traffic Collisions (RTC) involving trailers and tankers, which resulted in 737 fatalities and 2622 serious injuries.
“That implies that an average of two Nigerians were killed every day and seven seriously injured in 2017 as a result of trailer/tanker accidents.
“These accidents accounted for 28 per cent of road accidents in Nigeria, which is grossly disproportionate to the percentage of trailers and trucks plying our roads,” he said.
Folarin further noted that FRSC had cited none adherence to road traffic safety practices and parking in unauthorised location along the road as two of the three top reasons for road accidents involving articulated lorries.
He, however, said that in spite of statutory provisions empowering the Nigerian Police, the FRSC, Vehicle lnspectorates to curb the menace, the problem persists unabated.
Contributing, Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi said that the materials lost as a result of accidents involving trucks and articulated lorries was huge.
He called for the training of tanker drivers to check such accidents while also calling on the FRSC and all other relevant agencies to “step up their games”.
Also, Sen.Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu) called for the proper and timely release of fund to contractors handling the country’s federal highways to broaden the roads.
“While the committee on works was on oversight recently, the contractors complained of delay in payment of funds.
“We have to widen the roads. If the Senate mounts pressure on the government to release funds to these contractors, we can widen the roads and then the fatalities will reduce,” he said.
The resolutions of the motion were unanimously adopted by the senators after a voice vote by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.