Lafarge Africa stakes ₦132m in truck driving school for safe operations
To enhance safety in all its operations, Lafarge Africa Plc, is investing over ₦₦132m to train truck drivers in Nigeria.According to the company, the first batch of 200 drivers to be trained will be part of a three-year strategic training plan for 600 drivers in the country.
Director of Logistics at Lafarge Africa Plc, Bruno Hounkpati, said: “The primary aim of our Driving Institute is to model drivers’ behaviour from the onset while equipping them with adequate training for truck driving.
“The school will ensure skilled drivers with safe driving skills that contribute to safer roads in Nigeria. It will promote professionalism among truck drivers and also create jobs with our third party transport companies.”
Road transportation accounts for 90 per cent of freight and passenger movement in Nigeria, with heavy good vehicles like trucks, trailers and articulated vehicles dominating the haulage modes.
While the practice has been for most Nigerian truck drivers to graduate from motor mates with inadequate and structured training, Lafarge hopes to change the practice in a bid to discourage acts that impede fleet utilisation, safe driving behaviours, productivity and employment opportunities.
In 2016, commercial vehicles accounted for 53.8 per cent of transportation in Nigeria, according to data compiled by the Federal Roads Safety Corp (FRSC). The data also shows that 8,876 commercial vehicles were involved in road accidents.
The Head of the driving school, Osaze Aghatise said: “One major way to reduce road related incidents and achieve our goal of zero harm is to raise the standard of drivers’ training in our operations and ensure drivers think about safety first and always while on the road.
“This requires the right training and coaching to understand the risks involved in performing a task, to shape behaviours and to develop safety processes.”
He added that the school is in partnership with Transport Services Limited, a fleet management company, and the FRSC, while selected trainees will go through an initial rigorous screening, thorough in-classroom training, state-of-the-art driving simulator and on-the-road coaching and assessment.
“Lafarge has carefully selected the instructors with strong local and international experience, and certification to ensure trainees are taken through the highest standard of driver training. Going forward, Lafarge contractors will only use drivers from the school,” he added.
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