Posted by News Express | 8 July 2015 | 2,812 times
As part of the ongoing consultations by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) towards ensuring safer road environment for haulage operations in the country, the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi yesterday paid a courtesy visit on the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Hajia Asabe Ahmed.
The two officials, resolved after an elaborate discussion on how to avert petroleum tanker crashes in the country to put more strict measures that could guarantee that safety standards put in place are not compromised by tanker operators while transporting petroleum products across the country.
According to Corps Marshal Oyeyemi who addressed members of the management of the organisation during the visit, FRSC was concerned with the rate of human and material loses suffered in the various crashes recorded in Onitsha, Anambra State, Idimu and Iyana Ipaja in Lagos as well as Osogbo in Osun State, stressing that the corps has since been consulting with relevant stakeholders on how to avert reoccurrence.
He pointed out that it was in continuation of such efforts that the National Summit on Haulage operations where stakeholders drew up a plan of action that is being implemented was organised. “Early this year, we started consultation with the relevant stakeholders in road transport business because we wanted ensure a crash-free year,” he stated.
“That consultation was ongoing when the first tanker crash was recorded in Onitsha with tremendous loss of lives and property. Unfortunately, as we were stepping up the campaign on how to deal with the challenge, two more crashes were recorded in Lagos with equally devastating effects, which led us to organise a national summit on safety of haulage operations in the country.
“At the end of the Summit, participants drew up a plan of action which is being implemented in consultation with other relevant stakeholders. We are here today to rub mind with you on the way forward considering the strategic position of your organisation in the efforts to create orderliness in the operations of petroleum tankers in the country,” he further stated.
Speaking on the various measures taken by the FRSC to ensure that safety standards are strictly adhered to by the tanker operators, Oyeyemi stated that enforcement of speed limiting device which was introduced following the stakeholders’ resolutions on how to curb speed related crashes would become effective as from 1st September, 2015.
He added that as part of the measures by the tanker drivers to ensure self enforcement of the regulation, the PTD-NUPENG leadership has directed that as from that date, any tanker driver without the speed limiter installed in his vehicle would not be allowed to load petroleum products from any of the depots across the country.
The corps marshal also disclosed that for easy identification as well as adequate illumination of the tankers, the retro-reflective tape would be enforced on the tankers, while special number plate is being designed for them. “Training and retraining programme for the Tanker drivers is being worked out to ensure competence and professionalism in their operations and safety on the roads,” he stated.
“We discovered that most of the crashes that occurred across the country were traced to poor mechanical status of the vehicles due to lack of adherence to safety standards by the drivers. That was why it was resolved at the Summit to call on the state governments to take issues of capacity development for the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) serious so that they could carry out their function of vehicle inspection more efficiently,” Oyeyemi stated.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary, Hajia Asabe Ahmed, while thanking the Corps Marshal for the visit, stressed that it would go a long way in creating closer collaboration between the two organisations in the collective efforts to ensure safety of petroleum tankers on the nation’s highways.
According to her, the involvement of the FRSC personnel in the organisation’s operations in the last three years has led to greater efficiency in the system, pointing out that more could be achieved with increased collaboration.
Hajia Ahmed commended the FRSC for creating safer road environment in the country, saying that since its establishment about 27 years ago, the corps has continued to enlighten drivers and engaging in enforcement, which succeeded in creating safer motoring environment.
She added that for the nation to attain the desired level of safety for tanker operations, there was the need to involve other strategic stakeholders like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in the campaign.
“I believe that if all the relevant agencies in haulage operations come together to work on the safety standards for petroleum tanker operations, crashes involving the vehicles would reduce drastically. So we have to work together to achieve the desired goal of ensuring smoother and safer operations of haulage vehicles on our roads,” she stated.
Highlight of the visit was the exchange of Souvenirs by the two leaders who resolved to sustain closer collaboration in the collective efforts to ensure safer environment for the operations of petroleum tankers in the country.
The corps marshal was accompanied on the visit by some principal officers of the FRSC National Headquarters, including the deputy corps marshal in charge of motor vehicle administration; corps legal adviser and the assistant corps marshal in charge of command administration and strategy in the operations department, among others.
*Photo shows Corps Marshal Oyeyemi.
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