Posted by News Express | 13 December 2021 | 515 times
By EMMANUEL ADDEH, Abuja
The federal government has constituted a Presidential Inter-Agency Committee (PIAC) to hasten the evacuation of trucks and trailers along the right of way on the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway to ease vehicular movement, reduce insecurity and curb incessant damage.
Stating that the directive must be executed before the end of the year, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola said the ministry would provide a temporary park at Tafa, along Kaduna road, where the vehicles could park.
Fashola was represented by the Director of Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, who is also the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Folorunsho Esan, during an inspection of the road.
A statement by the Director of Press and Publicity in the ministry, Boade Akinola, quoted Fashola as saying that the park would accommodate about 500 trucks when fully operational, thereby helping to address the problems of road access and insecurity in the area.
The minister stated that the committee was set up after the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, so that the contractors can take full possession to enable hitch-free work on the road.
He added that the purpose of the inspection was to assess areas where the trucks could be relocated to away from the right of way.
“We want road users to have free passage without bottlenecks. So we are here to inspect facilities that are available where trucks can now be moved to,” he explained.
In addition, the minister said that the Tafa axis of the road was more problematic, but added that there was provision where the trucks would be moved to.
“One of the very pronounced bottlenecks is in Tafa and fortunately enough, we have an empty land acquired by Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) although they have not been able to do anything on it.
“But we are thinking of moving the trucks from Tafa to that plot of land after some ground improvements on the land for trailers to be able to stay without sinking,” he said.
On the collaboration with other stakeholders, a representative of the Petroleum Tankers Association (PTA), Mr. Abdullahi Haruna, said tanker drivers were ready to move immediately alternative parking space was provided.
“We, the petrol tanker drivers are ready to work with the committee to evacuate trucks from the road,” he said.
Haruna said that there was the need to make the park conducive for the users through the provision of basic facilities like borehole, toilets and canteens.
He said: “What we are appealing for is that the palliative or temporary work should be done well. If it is good, there would be no need of planning for a permanent park, we will use this one.”
Reiterating the need for cooperation, District Head of Jere, Yusuf Suleiman, said he was happy about the development and assured the committee that he would mobilise and make sure that the trucks leave the shoulders of the highway when the park is ready.
“We will give the ministry and concerned stakeholders necessary support that would lead to the permanent evacuation of trucks and trailers from the road,” he assured committee.(THISDAY)
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