Tanker Drivers Vow To Continue Protest In Niger, Block Major Roads

 

Tanker drivers have continued their protest for the fourth day in Bida, Niger State, blocking major exits from the town. 

The drivers, who vowed to continue the protest for as long as three months, also said they will not leave until the Minna-Bida Road is reopened. 

One of the drivers, Mohammed Liman, lamented that the poor state of roads in the state has led to the loss of lives and properties. He blamed the Niger State Government for the delay in the construction of the road (Minna-Bida).

Another one, Baba Abdullahi, said some of the tanker drivers were being abducted due to the bad roads; calling for their immediate renovation.

According to Mohammed Tasiu, a tanker driver, the Bida-Lapai-Lambata road has been their route over the years. He, however, claimed the government had abandoned the road, making it a nightmare. 

The road is no longer motorable for them, especially trailers, hence the need for the protest, he added. He also called on the government to open the only alternative – Bida-Minna Road  – for them to ply.

A Worrisome Development 

A screen grab of a section of a road blocked by the protesters.

 

But some residents of the state have faulted calls for the reopening of the Bida Minna Road for the tanker drivers.

For Usman Suleiman, the protest in Bida is worrisome and the drivers’ action has paralyzed economic activities in the area. 

He insisted that the Minna-Bida Road should not be opened for the trailer drivers because of the adverse effects such would have on the road. According to him, the Federal Government should be blamed for abandoning the dilapidated road for too long. 

One resident, Saidu Isah, expressed sadness over the development. Although he did not blame the drivers for the protest, he decried the effect of their action on the masses. 

The situation, he appealed, should not be allowed to deteriorate into confrontation as he called for dialogue among major stakeholders to tackle the issue. 

No Going Back

Niger State is in North Central Nigeria.

 

While responding to the development, the Niger State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Mamman Musa insisted that the Minna-Bida Road will remain closed, explaining that heavy duty trucks will not be allowed on the road until the work is finished. 

Meanwhile, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (Niger State) and the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations have given a forty-eight hour ultimatum to the Petroleum Tanker Driver’s Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to vacate the Suleja-Lambata-Bida Road or face mass civil action.

In  a statement on Saturday, the Chairman of the council, Bello Sheriff, lamented the drivers’ action, adding that it has brought hardship and uncertainty to motorists plying the road.

 

 

 

 

 

Kaduna Govt Orders Removal Of Trucks, Tankers Parked On Kaduna-Zaria Highway

A file photo of fuel tankers on one of the highways in Nigeria.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has given a 24-hour quit notice to drivers of trailers and tankers parked on the Maraban Jos axis of the Kaduna-Zaria Expressway to vacate the road with immediate effect.

This followed an ultimatum issued to the drivers to start parking their vehicles at the newly completed ultra-modern trailer park at Maraban Jos, as part of the government’s efforts to decongest the road and make it accident-free.

Governor El-Rufai, who was at the trailer park on Monday to see the level of compliance with the directive, decried that many lives had been lost on that section of the highway due to indiscriminate parking of long vehicles.

While some drivers obeyed the governor’s directive to move to the new trailer park, others were not willing to move as they were caught by Governor Elrufai with their vehicles still parked along the highway.

Infuriated by their action, the governor directed the erring drivers to vacate the road with their vehicles or get prepared to face the consequences.

The Kaduna-Zaria highway is one of the busiest roads in the northern part of the country and serves as the gateway to the seven states in the north-west zone from Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It has, however, witnessed several motor accidents, particularly at the Maraban Jos axis of the highway due to incessant traffic congestion as a result of the indiscriminate parking of trailers and tankers.

This prompted the state government to build a modern trailer park for all long-duty vehicles, for easy flow of traffic on the highway.

It also directed the traffic management and security agencies to ensure no vehicle was allowed to park on the highway for easy flow of traffic and reduction of accidents on the road.

The Maraban Jos trailer park, which has a space of about 71,000 square metres of parking area alone, also has provision for restaurants and hotels among other facilities to make users comfortable.

Indiscriminate parking on the highway is a violation of the Federal Highway Act.

FRSC Withdraws Ban On Petroleum Tankers Movement

FRSC, Petroleum TankersThe Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has stepped down its directive to ban all petroleum tanker drivers from embarking on night journeys from Monday, December 19, 2016.

Corp Marshal of the FRSC, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, revealed the agency’s decision to reporters on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Oyeyemi said that the decision was taken to ease the movement of goods across Nigeria during the yuletide, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation gave assurance of adequate supply of petroleum products during the period.

He noted that in spite of the reversal, the FRSC would ensure that tanker drivers comply with the minimum safety standards.

The corp marshal stressed that the compliance would help to prevent issues of over speeding and avoidable loss of lives.