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Oil major identifies measures to deepen safe fuel distribution practice

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To ensure safe transportation of petroleum products in the country, Total Nigeria PLC (TNPLC) has advocated the adoption of holistic measures that audit the product distribution value-chain, with a view to encouraging adoption of safe and tested practices.

According to the oil major, the truck driver cannot be separated from the truck as well as the operational environment, hence the need for a complete assessment of safe practices adopted in the industry.

Already, the oil company noted that it has been improving road safety in Nigeria with continuous training and a total of 4,889 truck audits in three years, through its Truck Drivers’ Initiative.

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Giving a breakdown of activities during a virtual meeting recently, the company stated that it had conducted 2,181 Truck driver trainings, 2,740 truck audits at its training facility in Ibadan, Oyo State between 2017 and 2020.

It added that it had also helped other players to conduct 2,149 truck audits between 2018 and 2020.

The company noted that the effort had resulted in zero fatalities and severe accidents, zero lost time injury and zero spill in cubic metres, amongst Total Nigeria PLC drivers since 2017, as the training has ensured “improved defensive driving skills; reduction of road accidents caused by driver behaviour and truck breakdown; handling of dangerous goods during transportation and public enlightenment on road safety topics; and government regulatory agencies’ campaigns.”

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had earlier disclosed that issues of integrity, vandalism and insecurity of pipelines are responsible for the menace of tanker accidents in the country.

The regulator noted that the situation has led to continued reliance on tanker trucks to move petroleum products from one place to another, maintaining that this in turn had raised the challenges on safe transportation of petroleum products in the country.

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Giving insight into its activities, the Executive General Manager, Total Country Services, Bunmi Popoola-Mordi, noted that one of the areas that the company had been contributing enormously in the country was in the area of road safety and there was need to not only highlight the contributions but to inform and galvanise stakeholders in order to get feedback for continuous improvement.

Responding to questions on the Truck Drivers Initiative, the General Manager, HSEQ Muhyideen Nuradeen, maintained that while the company was in the business of making profit, it was more interested in saving lives; making the roads as safe as possible and making sure drivers return safely to their families and loved ones at the end of each business day.

The company explained that its stakeholders including the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) were being involved in the initiative.

In his remarks, the Country Communication Manager, Dr Charles Ebereonwu, expressed optimism that the initiative would progress to a level where the country would achieve a critical mass of trained, professional drivers and quality trucks to eliminate road safety hazards associated with trucking petroleum products.

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