Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has asked the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to ensure that drivers adhere to vehicle weight regulations.
Gatekeepers News reports that Fashola made this plea while speaking on Tuesday at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of NARTO in Abuja.
The Minister said the federal government has been able to source supplementary funding like Sukuk, to ensure roads are rehabilitated and constructed across the country.
According to him, the association should ensure that drivers are trained and adhere to speed limits.
Fashola said, “We want you to self-enforce the weight regulations [for the roads] we have shared this with you. The roads give way under very extreme axle movements. As businessmen, you have to stand up [and enforce weight regulations] in your own interest.
“I also want to appeal for the safety of our roads. You can’t just give the truck to anybody. It is not a toy. All the people who operate the trucks must be properly trained – it is a profession.
“You see them across the world. Don’t you see those things we see in the movies? Why can’t our own be like that? If NARTO decides, NARTO can do it.
“I want to appeal to you on behalf of Nigerians, to stay within the speed limit. Stay at 90; stay at 80. Even at 60, you will get there. You say roads are getting better. Is that not so? What are you racing for?”
According to the minister, the reintroduction of the new tolling policy would create jobs and other economic opportunities.
Fashola said, “While some people see new bridges and toll plazas as mere government enforcement efforts and as revenue collection, what I see are more jobs, new economic opportunities for old and young who will operate these facilities, and part of our commitment is to create a better life and create prosperity.”
On his part, the NARTO’s President, Lawal Othman called on the authorities to prevent the destruction of trucks and the killing of drivers.
Othman said, “We believe that failure to take appropriate measures of dealing with any identified culprit is what emboldens and strengthens them to continue committing the crime. This is completely unacceptable and must never be allowed to continue.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on our law-abiding and patriotic members who are into the transportation of petroleum products to please desist from illegal bunkering, smuggling, and diversion of petroleum products because these actions are detrimental to the economy of our great nation.
“This association will not support, defend, or sympathise with anyone caught committing these crimes.”