The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says 90 per cent of trucks in the country are over 30 years.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, disclosed this in an interactive session between the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), the FRSC and Haulage operators on Monday in Lagos.
Oyeyemi called for an improvement on the maintenance and standardisation schemes for vehicles as most of them lacked safety measures like lighting, reflectors and other parts.
He stressed the need for an intervention from the Federal Government to ensure truckers had fleet renewal as vehicles that had been on the road for 30-years should be scrapped.
Oyeyemi pointed out that “due to the age of the trucks, they frequently breakdown on the road prolonging the days goods spend on the road before getting to its destination.”
“While coming to this place, I went through the third mainland bridge and I saw trucks lining up on the bridge going toward Apapa and this is not good.
“Bridges are not meant to carry fixed trucks and when we have such scenario, we are reducing the lifespan of the bridges.
“Also, there is decay in the vehicle inspection system in the country, most of the trucks are not road worthy and this poses serious threat to road users.
“When these trucks breakdown, the goods will not get to its destination as scheduled and this affects the end users,” he said.
Oyeyemi added that as regards the Vehicle Transit Area (VTA) project, more stakeholders engagement are needed to produce results and it should not be by enforcement.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, noted that the meeting was to deliberate on the way forward toward providing solutions to transport infrastructure deficit and other operational challenges to cargo movement.
Bello added that the corps marshal’s support of the council’s projects and activities had accelerated the achievements of major milestones in the development of critical infrastructure for trade facilitation.
He said to facilitate the development of critical transport infrastructure that supported trade and enforced standards, the council was promoting two major transport infrastructure, namely Inland Dry Ports and VTA project.
According to him, the NSC conceptualised the development of the Truck Transit Park, now VTA, to provide convenient rest areas for truckers.
Bello said that other road users would also benefit from the project as it would ensure safety of lives and cargoes.
“NSC also has the mandate to ensure efficient and effective service delivery is enforced across the transport chain.
“The partnership between the NSC and the FRSC has recorded reasonable landmarks, especially in traffic management and safety of cargo in transit,” he said.
The NSC boss added that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the FRSC to set standards for truck owners and drivers for effective implementation.
He said the MoU was also to generate database on trucks, training, VTA implementation, public education and enlightenment and others.
Mr Nanbol Nanle, the Assistant Director, Inland Transport Service Department, NSC, noted that the VTA project would need a public-private partnership to thrive.
Nanle pointed out that the main objective of the project was to provide a place of rest for truck operators, and a measure of comfort for them to reduce fatigue and accidents on the roads.
He said that the facility would include mechanic workshop, hotels, health centre, police post, fuel station, warehousing, weigh bridge, fire service, cave area, and others.
Some of the stakeholders that participated at the event include: the Association of Maritime Transport Owners, the Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners.