The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says Nigeria lost over N39 billion to the tanker and trailer-related road crashes in 2018.
Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, FRSC, made the disclosure on Monday in Lagos at a stakeholders’ meeting with tank farm operators, with the theme “Safe Haulage Vehicle Operations in Nigeria’’.
He said that a total of 650 tankers and trailers were involved in the crashes in 2018, with over 90 per cent of the affected vehicles having been used for haulage transportations for over 30 years.
“Nigeria lost N39 billion to trailer and tanker crashes in 2018 alone, with about 650 articulated vehicles involved, while over 90 per cent of them had been used for haulage transportation for over 30 years.
“Haulage has become the most utilised way of inter-city movements of goods and services, while the country consumes an estimated 60 million litres of refined petroleum products per day,’’ he said.
Oyeyemi said that the introduction of a safe-to-load programme of distribution of major petroleum products was aimed at ensuring that only vehicles in good condition were allowed to transport both wet and dry cargoes on the roads.
According to him, the vehicles must also be driven by qualified and competent drivers to ensure safety on the roads.
The corps marshal added that FRSC officials deployed to tank farms across the country were also trained and retrained to ensure compliance with the standard by fleet operators.
He said that the corps would conduct investigations on all fatal accidents involving trailers and tankers, with a view to unravelling the causes and proffering preventive measures to appropriate authorities.
Oyeyemi identified the use of unlicensed motor boys as drivers, lack of lane discipline, indiscriminate parking along the major corridors, use of additional lights at night and non-usage of retro-reflective tapes to enhance visibility at night as some of the prevailing challenges.
The FRSC boss said that periodic checks of haulage vehicles at loading points by the taskforce committee was critical to regularly ascertain the safety status and compliance level of vehicles.
Mr Clement Isong, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Major Oil Marketers’ Association of Nigeria, in his remarks, said that safety was one of the main priorities in the petroleum business.
Isong said that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the safe-to-load programme was adhered to by the stakeholders.
In his remarks, Mr Aloga Ogbogo, the Executive Secretary, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), said that the safe-to-load programme initiated by the corps marshal would ensure sanity on the roads and the haulage sector generally.
He called for the review of weighbridges to ensure that articulated vehicles were loaded according to their capabilities.
“The weighbridges will address the issue of the safe-to-load initiative, especially the wet cargoes.
“And mostly, all the articulated vehicles drivers are not using glasses; does that mean they all have good eyesight? Using glasses does not mean you cannot drive.
“At the same time, putting a good truck on a bad road can also damage such a truck within a few years, other things being equal. Therefore, necessary things must be put in place to ensure that the safe-to-load programme is perfected,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 253 tankers and trailers were involved in fatal crashes in 2017, with efforts being put in place by the FRSC to reduce crashes to the barest minimum.