Truck overloading against regulations, barrier to prosperity, says Fashola
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says overloading of trucks is against road safety rules and regulations and constitutes barrier to prosperity and national development.
Fashola said this on Monday in Abuja during a one-day public enlightenment programme on developments in the road sector organised by the ministry.“Why the temptation to overload trucks against regulation and good practice may be appealing, it is ultimately a barrier to prosperity.
“Such practices may provide cheap and perhaps corrupt riches and income in the short term but they do more damage to our roads for which the cheap income is made. “Those who engage in it prosper at the expense of others, this means that in the short run, the road is lost and the opportunities it offers diminishes,” he said.
He said the enlightenment programme was for stakeholders to recognise that they were actors of the change that would lead the country to prosperity.
According to him, all over the world, one common trend to prosperity is the level of compliance to laws and regulations for every nation that prosper; there is high level of compliance.
“In those societies, where there is high level of compliance, what you are likely to see is that the trucks are parked in proper parks and those parks create secondary opportunities to create jobs.
“You will not see trucks parked on the highways which impede access and opportunities; you will see trucks carrying the specified tonnage of cargo because they want the load protected,” he added.
He said the programme was for the stakeholders to brainstorm on ways to optimise the opportunities to be created by network of roads within the ECOWAS sub-region.
“This meeting will deliberate on how we can optimise opportunities that lie in road network like the trans-Sahara highway which connects Nigeria to Chad, Niger Republic, Tunisia, Republic of Mali and Algeria.
“We will indeed see how we can optimise the opportunities that lie along the Lagos to Abidjan highway that runs through the Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana,” he added.
Speaking, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) commended the ministry for the programme.He said the public enlightenment for stakeholders ahead of the federal government plan to commence enforcement of the regulations was a step in the right direction.
He said the commission arrests an average of 200 vehicles daily for excessive overloading, adding that the enlightenment would enhance the operation of FRSC.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other stakeholders at the programme commended the federal government for the initiative and pledged their support to ensure full compliance.
The stakeholders at the event included the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).
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