By Charles Kumolu, Deputy Editor
Public Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, speaks on the steps being taken to curtail the alarming rate of fuel tanker accidents.
Owing to the expedience of making haulage operations safer in Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Corps convened a high powered meeting with tank farm operators nationwide to ensure the smooth commencement of the implementation of checklist on wet cargo operating within the country.
The checklist on wet cargo was approved at the inter-ministerial committee for haulage operators in Nigeria, constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari and inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha. The SGF directed the FRSC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and other relevant agencies who are members of the enforcement subcommittee to ensure that no truck or tanker loads at parks or tank farms without meeting the mandatory safety requirements in the checklist.
At the end of the deliberations, the various stakeholders adopted the following resolutions: Haulage vehicles that do not meet the minimum safety standard must not be allowed to load at the designated tank farms, FRSC personnel would man and ensure the implementation of the safety checklist before tankers are loaded, all haulage in Nigeria must install the Standard Speed Limiting Device and tank farms without fire-fighting trucks must get one as a standard safety precaution.
Haulage vehicles carrying hazardous materials should be properly labelled in conformity with the Highway Code and United Nations, UN, agreement on transportation of dangerous goods by road. Government should provide a computerised vehicle check centre for an annual comprehensive safety audit of haulage trucks and tankers for certification of roadworthiness. Tank farms loading tankers with old number plates are to be sanctioned when apprehended.
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The Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, made clear the resolve of the FRSC on the foregoing. He said that strict adherence to rules of engagement must be observed and any haulage operator that compromises on any of the checklist will face the wrath of the law accordingly.
Among the stakeholders who participated at the meeting held in Lagos State include the FRSC, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, DPR, Total Nigeria Plc, tank farm operators and other trade unions in the petroleum industry.