11 tankers crash in 17 days

  • FRSC boss urges NUPENG to halt menace

THE Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, has expressed anger over the menace of incessant crashes involving petroleum tankers, disclosing that eleven tankers have been in crashes  in the last two and a half weeks.

Oyeyemi, bared his pangs on Thursday when he visited the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers/Petroleum Tanker Drivers (NUPENG-PTD) in Abuja to register the concerns of the Corps and that of Government.

He decried the unwarranted loss of lives, properties and damage to roads and the highways and urged NUPENG-PTD to halt the crashes.

He said the Corps was prepared to work with the Union in all efforts to curb the ugly trend, saying most tankers do not have valves and whenever they fall, there is usually spillage of fuel and a resultant inferno occurs.

Oyeyem said it was against this backdrop that he had ordered the impoundment of any tanker without valves plying the Nigerian roads.

He advised NUPENG-PTD to impress on its members maintenance of their articulated vehicles and as well ridding the roads of rickety tankers engaged in the business of transporting petroleum products.

The Chairman of NUPENG-PTD, Otunba Salmon Oladiti, thanked the Corps Marshal for the respect he has for the union and enduring willingness to consult with the union rather than wielding the big stick.

He revealed that on his part as the Chairman of the Union, he has devoted time to talking with the drivers, training them, and dissuading them from engaging in night journeys and other vices.

He added that the Union has engaged consultants in the past and equally set up task force to arrest recalcitrant tanker drivers.

He stated that nevertheless, he is ready to partner FRSC to stem road carnage, and expressed his delight that the training and retraining of tanker drivers will start all over again in January.

The Chairman commended FRSC for the large deployment of men to Nigerian roads and advised the Corps Marshal to talk to construction companies to place adequate diversion signs around construction sites to help stem road carnages.

Otunba Salmon used the opportunity to send a word of appeal to the Federal Government to assist his Union and the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) in granting soft loans to fund replacement of rickety articulated vehicles plying the roads, as the recession has made it quite difficult for transport operators to fund the replacement on their own.