FG Advocates Attitude Change of Road User on Highways
The Federal Government of Nigeria has advocated for a change in road haulage activities, as the axle load control and regulations has been ratified by President Muhammadu Buhari so as to eradicate overloading of heavy duty vehicles on the Federal highways.
President Buhari made this known at a critical One-Day Public Enlightenment on Developments in the Road Sector organized by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing held on Monday, March 19, 2018 at the NAF Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja
The President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha, explained that the present administration whose focus is on infrastructure development, has raised budgetary allocation for capital projects from 15% to 30%, adding that “from 2015 to date, my Administration has constructed and rehabilitated several hundred kilometers of Federal roads and highways to ease the movement of persons, goods and services.”
President Muhhamadu Buhari, who confirmed approval of the enforcement of the axle load control and regulations to commence from the loading points, stressed the need to change “our ways” so as to get value for the huge investment committed to the road sector, he said “as the Head of this Government, I have signed up for that change.”
Earlier, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, who acknowledged what the State Governments are undertaking with regard to states and some federal roads, stated that the “Ministry is convinced that voluntary compliance by stakeholders takes us nearer to the prosperity that is beckoning”.
Fashola explained that the interactive session was to discuss issues such as the achievements of the Government in the sector, re-introduction of the toll gates, provision and effective use of road furniture, prescribed penalties for abuse of the road furniture, amongst others.
The Minister further explained that the existing treaty obligations within the West African sub region and beyond stipulates the amount of load any goods vehicle can put on an axle and by extension, on the road in order to do business within ECOWAS Member States.
He stressed the need to optimize the opportunities in road networks like the Trans-Saharan highway that connects Nigeria to other African countries like Chad, Niger, Abidjan and Cameroon. He added that compliance with regulations will open “a massive door of opportunity and prosperity for cross-border trade to Nigerians engaged in the transport and merchandise businesses”.
The Corp Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi appealed to drivers and stakeholders to comply with the rules and regulations guiding the road sector. He threatened that the government is ready to enforce the laws so as to keep the highways safe and secured.
Various stakeholders and speakers from the Academia, Road Transporters, Petroleum and Gas workers, Road Transport Employers and Owners, amongst others took their turns to commend the Federal Government and the Ministry. They pledged their support and cooperation towards Government’s efforts to curb road abuse so as to achieve the desired development required in the sector.
The Minister of State II, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma who coordinated the interactive session, commended the stakeholders for their responses and urged them to continue to support government in its road sector development initiatives.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, representative of the Chairman, House Committee on Works, Honourable Michael Akintola, representative of the Minister of Transportation, Dr. (Mrs) Anthonia Ekpa, representative of FCT Minister, the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, Engr. U.G. Jubrin, State Permanent Secretaries of Works, Directors and other Stakeholders in the sector were in attendance.
The communiqué, issued after the meeting, adopted the following, amongst others;
i. Appreciated Federal Government’s efforts for improved road rehabilitation and construction going on nationwide;
ii. Affirmed the need for enforcement of axle load limit to safeguard the road infrastructure;
iii. Emphasised the importance of re-introduction of Toll Palzas on the Federal Highways to improve revenue generation for road maintenance and provision of rest points for travelers;
iv. Advocated that all Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGVs) owners and operators should abide by the new Axle Load limit regime in Nigeria which is in line with ECOWAS Supplementary Act./SP.17/02/12 relating to the harmonization of standards and procedures for the control of dimensions, weight and axle load of goods vehicles within ECOWAS Member States.
v. Agreed that Tank Farm owners and Sea Port operators should comply with the axle load limits by installing weighbridges at their depots/ports.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bukar, on behalf of the Ministry appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari and commended the participation of the stakeholders.
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