By Amidu Arije
Worried by the incessant truck accidents that have claimed many lives on Lagos state roads, the state government has convened a stakeholders engagement meeting to find everlasting solution to the quagmire.
The state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said “enough is enough”, as the State government convened a stakeholder-engagement with key representatives of the Downstream Energy Sector to deepen safety awareness of operators, given the spate of fire incidents involving petroleum tankers in recent times.
Speaking at a virtual meeting, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote, emphasised that “Mr. Governor is keen to see the downstream sector continues to flourish in the state but operators must stay within the framework of safety provided by the regulators and the laws of the state”.
Odusote said the workshop was put together to address the recurrence of such hazardous incidents, and to seek effective and lasting solutions that align the interests of all stakeholders.
Disclosing that Lagos State has commenced the process of creating fully equipped truck transit parks and terminals to eliminate the indiscriminate parking of trucks in the State, Odusote said that a technology-based Integrated Terminal Management System, where tickets are issued prior to proceeding to the loading bays will be introduced, in addition to the enforcement of the annual certifications for tanker drivers and trucks that ply Lagos roads.
The Commissioner gave an assurance that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will work closely with all stakeholders to implement an optimal framework to curb the menace of tankers, just as it partners the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to monitor the loading of petroleum products at the various loading bays in the State.
In his own contribution, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde stated that relevant infrastructure to facilitate vehicle testing will be made available at mutually agreed designated points to support the downstream sector.
He revealed that his Ministry has scheduled visits of all stakeholders to relevant facilities in the coming weeks to ensure an alignment of requirements that will guarantee prevention of accidents and safety of tankers across all facilities and roads within Lagos.
Also speaking at the meeting, the National Chairman of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Association, Otunba Sailimon Oladiti noted that “Lagos State Government is always leading positive change, but to ensure the solutions are sustainable, similar actions must also be taken nationwide”.
Officials of the Lagos State Government who also attended the event are the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Engr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins and the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu among others.
At the end of the session, all participants including representatives of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG); Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA); National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Federal Road Safety Corps, promised to abide by the regulations set by Lagos State.