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Senate charges agencies to enforce UN pact on risky haulage

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Mandates truck owners to compensate victims
Senate yesterday mandated relevant regulatory agencies to ensure strict compliance with the UN 1957 International Agreement on the haulage of dangerous goods by road.

This is aimed at guarding against recurrence of tanker accidents in the country.

Last Monday, a tanker accident in Lokoja, Kogi State, claimed eight lives; in Anambra, two separate tanker accidents happened within two weeks; the same thing in Ogun and Lagos.

The senators also mandated truck owners involved in the accident of November 14, 2019, along the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, to compensate the victims.

This was sequel to a motion on the need for tankers transporting flammable products to adhere to the 1957 United Nations International agreement on the movement of dangerous goods by road.

Presenting his motion, Senator Tolulope Odebiyi (Ogun West, APC) noted the rampant petroleum tanker crashes recently, which led to carnages leading to fire and deaths.

According to him, on October 18, 2018, Nigeria acceded to the 1957 UN International Agreement on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), an agreement that came into force a month after.

He said the provisions of the agreement require trucks conveying dangerous goods, including petroleum products, to be installed with seal valves, which prevents the liquefied contents from spilling in the event of accident.

Odebiyi said the non-compliance of truck owners and persons involved in the transportation of these goods constantly resulted in the loss of lives and property, without adequate compensation.

“If this hallowed chamber does not call on the right authorities to implement the provisions of this agreement, which Nigeria is signatory to, these incidents might continue unabated,” he argued.

Contributing to the motion, Rochas Okorocha (Imo West, APC) said tanker accidents were becoming a recurring decimal.

“This motion before us this morning is one motion too many relating to similar issues. I think it is high time we took a critical look at the causes of these disasters.

“Few weeks ago, it was in Anambra; then Ogun and Lagos. I think something must be responsible for this. We must understand what these families go through when they lose dear ones.

“We must understand that this affects the ordinary citizens of Nigeria. Some of the accidents are due to overload or not obeying the basic laws guiding the carriage of such inflammable products.”

“The senate must do something to address this, so we don’t keeping hearing these disasters daily,” Okorocha said.


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