Ambode meets tanker drivers
… Sets up committee to curb disaster
Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has set up a committee to investigate the remote and immediate causes of petrol tanker explosions in the state. The committee was set up in the wake of another explosion in Idimu area of Lagos last Saturday, razing no fewer than 34 houses and 70 shops.
There were four of such incidents in Lagos in the last ten days. Ambode, while setting up the committee shortly after a meeting with the leadership of stakeholders in the transport sector, said the government could no longer tolerate the untold hardship that reoccurring incidents of tanker explosion were inflicting on innocent victims.
He said the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, will chair the committee while other members will include the Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Transportation and Special Duties; Deputy Commissioner of Police and State Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC).
Others include Director, Fire Service; Chief Executive Officer of the State Drivers Institute; Representatives of the Association of Maritime Trucks Owners (AMATO); National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) among others.
The committee has two weeks to examine the immediate and remote causes of the recent tanker explosions and also prepare guidelines on ethical conducts for tankers and other truck advisers in the state.
According to Ambode: “The committee will engage the insurance industry and relevant stakeholders to meet and workout appropriate insurance policy that will protect the masses in whatever havoc caused by future tanker explosions in the state.
The governor reiterated the need for all drivers to comply to the state traffic law, saying that it is not only the tankers driver that are offenders.
Earlier, some stakeholders who commented on the issues identify driving under the influence of alcohol and lack of proper training for tanker drivers.
They also pointed out over concentration of fuel depots and tank farms in Lagos, saying that it has over stretched the road network and left most roads in deplorable state.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has cautioned tanker drivers to be mindful of the safety of lives and properties of Lagosians as they carry out their normal businesses.
The party said that a situation where there are frequent tanker accidents, which inflict horrendous damages on Lagosians, is clearly worrisome and that tanker drivers must take extra caution to avoid a repeat of such occurrence.
In a statement signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, the party stated that the recent tanker incidents were just too many in a space of days and is worried that reoccurrence will be just too many for Lagos to handle.
The party sympathized with victims of the fire incidents and urged them to bear their loss with equanimity. A part of the statement read: “Lagos APC calls for stricter regulation of heavy duty vehicles plying Lagos streets, in view of the recurring cases of tanker accidents in Lagos. We call that such vehicles be subjected to stricter checks to ascertain their health status to ply Lagos roads.
We call on the operators of tankers and haulage trucks to ensure that their vehicles are constantly maintained to prevent such ugly occurrence.
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