By Udeme Akpan
Stakeholders have expressed fears over increasing tanker accidents in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s petroleum industry, stressing that it could further impact negatively on the economy.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Energy Vanguard, Managing Director, Masterminder Oil & Gas Limited, Mr. Ademola Ademoroti, said: “Due to lack of alternatives, many operators in the downstream sector are compelled to move their petroleum products from one part of the country to another through the use of tankers.
“Also, due to some factors, including bad roads, irregular maintenance and human factor, some of these tankers are involved in accidents, thus resulting to loss of lives and property worth millions or billions of naira. Consequently, investors, households and the entire nation’s economy are affected, especially in the past few years, which call for serious concern.”
According to him, the development has become a thing of serious concern to major stakeholders and, to check the spate of the incidence, the Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Safety Commission, LSSC; Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO; Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD-NUPENG, with Masterminder Oil & Gas Limited, an accredited Safety Consultant with the LSSC, have agreed to hold a major training in Lagos on Thursday, February 18, 2021, with all stakeholders, including tanker drivers and owners as target audience.
Previously, in its Second Quarter 2020 Report, obtained by Energy Vanguard, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, had reported that: “The Q2 2020 road transport data reflected that 2,080 road crashes occurred in Q2 2020. Speed violation is reported as the major cause of road crashes in Q2 2020, and it accounted for 47 per cent of total road crashes reported, wrongful overtaking followed closely, as it accounted for 10 per cent of the total road crashes recorded, while dangerous overtaking recorded the least of the total road crashes reported.
“Similarly, out of a total 855 Nigerians, who got killed in the road traffic crashes recorded in Q2 2020, 788 were adults, and children 67, representing 92 per cent and eight per cent, respectively, of which 694 were male, representing 81 per cent, and 161 female, representing 19 per cent.
“A total of 5,535 Nigerians were injured in the road traffic crashes recorded, out of which 5,166 are adults, representing 93 per cent, while 369 are children, representing seven per cent. 4,393 male and 1,142 female, representing 79 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, also got injured in road crashes in Q2 2020. A total of 3,334 vehicles were involved in the road traffic crashes, with cars accounting for 28 per cent, with motorcycles and minibuses accounting for 24 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.
Data on the category of vehicles involved in the road crashes reflected that 64 per cent of vehicles were commercial (2,124), 35 per cent were private (1,166), and one per cent, constituting 44, were government vehicles.”
LSSC was inaugurated on May 5, 2009, as an office of Public Safety, under the Ministry of Special Duties, to set safety standards for all sectors involved in the socio-economic activities in the state.
In a message obtained from its website, the commission stated: “The issue of safety is a critical tool for the development and protection of valued lives, as well as property. Quantum of precious lives are wasted on a daily basis, simply because people do not bother about taking simple precautions and passing the same to family and friends.
Ordinary acts such as placing warning signs at construction sites, removing banana peels where it can slide, making sure electrical appliances are well secured from children could save lives. The commission is responsible for issuance or withdrawal of overall safety compliance certificate at all levels.”
The need for the establishment of commission, which was signed into law on July 26, 2011, was borne out of the dream to reduce poverty, accidents and injury, illnesses and diseases, and to enhance conducive environment for investment and business continuity.”