Considering the volume of allocation so far spent on repairing and reconstructing federal highways across the country, the federal government has introduced a policy that will limit the amount of load that is carried and conveyed by certain heavy duty vehicles on Nigerian roads.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the initiative will stop overloaded vehicles from plying selected roads to reduce road damage.
Already, an axle load control policy to regulate the tonnage of load being carried by heavy duty trucks and tankers nationwide in accordance with an Act of the Economic Community of West African States, has been put in place.
The policy document was weekend presented to several truckers and haulage associations including members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Petroleum Tanker Drivers and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers.
The minister said though the recommendations proffered by NARTO with respect to managing Nigerian roads would receive the required attention from his team at the ministry, Fashola averred that he had written to Buhari, requesting that certain vehicles be restricted from carrying excessive load and the President had approved the request.
Addressing NARTO officials, he said “I’m happy to note that in your (NARTO) document there were recommendations. So I will pass the document to our team and they will merge it with the workshop document and we will come to constitute teams that can then work out our immediate resolutions”.
“I’ve written to Mr. President to approve that even from the loading stations, from the ports, from the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) depots, we’ll restrict certain vehicles from being loaded beyond a certain point. Mr. President has approved that.”
“But before we start implementing all of these, we thought we should have a workshop with you so that you will know what we want to do. We are not the operators of the business, rather you are. If the roads collapse, you will have no business and we will also not have fuel; really nobody wins.”
Continuing, the minister noted that “The procurement process for the operation of 10 completed weigh-bridge stations is now in progress. Private sector operators will manage these stations on behalf of the Federal Government”.