The Nigerian senate has resolved to invite heads of agencies dealing with tankers and their drivers with a view to finding a lasting solution to incidences of accidents on roads.
This resolution, among others, follows a motion by Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos-APC) on Wednesday.
Mr Ashafa drew the attention of the senate to the incident of fuel tanker explosion at the Otedola Link Bridge which left 12 people dead and dozens of vehicles destroyed.
He recalled other accidents in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria caused by fuel tankers while urging the government to find an alternative means of transporting fuel.
“The senate is further concerned that there seemed to be a clear trail of preventable human error, lack of road worthiness as the prevalent causes of these accidents.
“The senate acknowledged that while the federal government has been working hard on revamping the Nigerian railway system, which would create an alternative approach to haulage of petroleum products (and) other products, there is an urgent need to enforce strict driving rules and road worthiness of all vehicles plying Nigerian roads, especially articulated vehicles,” he said.
Oluremi Tinubu, also a Lagos senator, urged the government and interested individuals to build trailer parks so as to stem the congestion of the tankers on the road.
Abdulfatai Buhari (Oyo-APC) wants the executive to make stiffer laws and punish defaulters.
“This is purely human error,” he said “How can a trailer that is carrying 33, 000 tonnes of fuel have a break failure? Who are the people checking it? Something fundamental is wrong and we need to check the system and take precautions. Unless we take a drastic action and heads roll, things will not change.”
The senate resolved to “urge the FRSC, Nigeria police and all other relevant agencies to cooperate with Lagos and other states in ensuring that drivers of articulated vehicles comply with both federal and states traffic safety laws.
“Urge the Nigeria police to work with FRSC to carry out a thorough investigation of circumstances leading to the accident that led to the fuel tanker fire with a view to prosecuting anyone found culpable in this preventable fire incident.
“Mandate relevant committees of the senate to invite the FRSC and NNPC with a view to finding a legislative solution towards ensuring that before trucks are loaded, mandatory safety checks are put in place to ascertain the condition of the tank and the road-worthiness of the vehicles to haul the products.”
An additional prayer, that the ministry of power, works and housing and state governments should accelerate the development of trailer parks and installation of way bridges to manage trailer movement on roads, was also adopted.
The senate president, Bukola Saraki, said the incident could be avoided if proper checks on vehicles and their drivers are made.
“It’s very unfortunate but I think it’s something that could be prevented if we all abide by the guidelines and ensure enforcement of laws that exist. This is a lesson we need to learn from this, that those agencies in charge of ensuring safety of tanker movement across the country must ensure compliance to ensure the drivers have adequate licences, that the vehicles have adequate certification showing that they are in good condition to ply the road,” he said.