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Why Shippers’ Council, FRSC can’t clear trucks from highways

Barely few days after the duo of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will ensure the immediate removal of trucks, tankers and trailers from all highways across the country, a transport consultant in Lagos has written off the agreement, saying the cause of the crisis is deep rooted and cannot be resolved by ordinary agreement between the two agencies.

In a telephone interview on Sunday, Alhaji Isah Adeniyi said “I laughed when I heard about the Friday agreement between NSC and FRSC”.

“To me, it may work in other parts of the country, but not in Lagos and both agencies are aware of that. But the funny part of the agreement was it is meant for Lagos, but it can’t work here”.

“Why do I say so; I say so because what the state government cannot do upon all the powers at its exposure is what two agencies without any executive powers what to achieve?

Continuing, he said “Let me tell you, the issue of removing all these articulated vehicles on the highway especially in Lagos can only work when the port rail system starts to work and at full capacity”.

“First of all, nobody had envisaged that a time shall come when the nation’s refineries and networks of pipelines will collapse. Nobody had envisaged that a time shall come when the whole of Lagos waterfront will become tank farm. Today, we are all in the mess and you want to remove articulated vehicles on the roads wearing just FRSC uniform and driving NSC hilux up and down. It won’t work.

Alhaji Adeniyi noted that “I have told them time without number that if you want to free Lagos roads of tankers, let other, especially northern Nigeria oil depots begin to work at capacity, reconstruct port access roads and build trucking bays. Signing millions of agreements cannot work. I think both agencies are just deceiving themselves”.

Business Hilights gathered on Friday that both agencies had in August commenced moves to have a centralised database for all trucks, tankers and trailers operating in Nigeria.

However, in his remarks after inking the MoU in his office in Abuja, Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, said the FRSC, in partnership with the NSC, had identified the major and illegal parks in the country and were set to regulate the sector.

“The implication is that all truck owners must now comply with the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme, it is critical. We need to get it right, all these indiscriminate parking on our highways must stop. So when you know that you are fully registered and can be punished, everybody will sit up. That is the essence of this,” Oyeyemi stated.

Oyeyemi said, “Secondly, the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme provides for all the truck owners to register with the corps. So the regulatory aspect of the corps’ function is to be effectively implemented with the Nigerian Shippers Council, and that is why I am excited.

“On the issue of a database, we are now going to have a joint database. We should be able to tell the country for planning and economic purposes how many trucks we have in Nigeria. We should be able to tell the number of tankers, trailers and trucks of different categories.”

He added, “We should also be able to tell the state of these vehicles. We also need to provide data to encourage government to work on re-fleeting”.