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FG working with states, private investors to develop 10 truck parks nationwide—Ministry

Though it had been promoted severally by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Unit Administration, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Anthonia Akpabio-Ekpa has further confirmed that the Federal Government was working with the states and private investors on the construction of 10 truck parks nationwide.

She made the confirmation at the 2018 Africa Transport Policy Programme in Abuja, assuring that the Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) should be ready for operations by next year in order to help address the dangers posed by heavy duty trucks and oil tankers on Nigerian roads.

Akpabio-Ekpa, who averred that the parks would be located along major highways in all six geopolitical zones of the country, added that a lot of foreign and local investors had shown interest to construct the facilities.

According to her, “Most Nigerians are familiar with the challenges we encounter on some of our roads as a result of the high presence of trucks. The Federal Government is aware of this and the ministry has been trying to ensure that the trucking business in Nigeria is boosted through the provision of the required amenities.

“What we have done in the past two years, which is currently ongoing, is that we have developed a proposal for truck transit parks. The parks are to be located in most of our cities and we have identified about 13 to be located across the country.”

She further revealed that the idea came from several researches by the ministry which showed that one key challenges encouraging truckers to be dotting federal and states highways was the lack of parks for their vehicles.

Continuing, Akpabio-Ekpa recalled that “What is going on in Lagos now between the state government and truckers is clear evidence. So, what we are doing at the Ministry of Transportation is that we are partnering state governments to identify those critical areas of convergence of trucks so as to construct a huge hub where all the trucks in any given region could gather, rather than park along our roads.

“Also, another thing that the ministry did in partnership with the ERGP (Economic Recovery and Growth Plan) secretariat was to identify the private sector investors who are interested in building truck parks. So, our timeline is that by next year, we will have not less than 10 truck parks across the country where in each park you are going to have hotels for the truckers to rest, mechanic workshops, banks, etc.

“Investors have come from outside the country and there are many also in the country who are interested in this. And the Vice President is anxious that we engage with the investors and fast-track the construction of these truck parks,” Akpabio-Ekpa revealed further.