The Niger State government has started restricting the movement of articulated vehicles in the state.
Abdullahi Imam, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Transportation, disclosed this during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Minna.
“We have commenced enforcement of order No. 2 of 2019 restricting movement and parking of trailers, tankers and other heavy vehicles in the state today.
“The exercise started at Minna-Bida road. As I speak to you now the task force is there enforcing the order,” he said.
Mr Imam said that the order was to enable contractors move equipment and material to the site in order to construct and rehabilitate bad roads in the state.
“The measure we have taken now will ensure proper job on these roads.
“Today being the first day we will not start with arrest but to continue to sensitise drivers and other road users so that innocent people will not fall victims,” he said.
Hassan Usman, a trailer driver conveying goods from Lagos to Kano told NAN that he has been on the road for five days owing to its deplorable condition.
Mr Usman called on the Federal Government to come up with an urgent solution on the dilapidated roads in Niger as it serves as a gateway between the North and South.
Also, Mohammed Aliyu, a taxi driver plying Minna-Bida route said that the bad road often results in traffic gridlock.
Adamu Mohammed, Solicitor General of the state and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, had during the week stated the terms of the order by Governor Abubakar Bello.
Mr Mohammed said that the order known as Trailers, Tankers and other Heavy Motor Vehicles Order No. 2, 2019, would take effect from November 1.
He said that the new order has repealed the old one and seeks to regulate the movement of heavy-duty vehicles and trucks to between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily.
The Permanent Secretary said that no trailer, tanker or any other vehicle loaded with flammable products would be allowed to park within residential areas.
“Any person who drives a trailer or other heavy-duty vehicle and abandons or fails to remove the said vehicle within reasonable time and obstruct normal flow of traffic, has committed an offence and shall be liable on conviction to serve a term of not less than six months imprisonment and a fine of N500,000.
“If the relevant state agencies has to tow the vehicle, the owner shall pay and defray all towing expenses and for each day that the vehicle remain unclaimed, he shall pay a demurrage of N50,000 and if unclaimed for 30 days, the said vehicle will be forfeited to government.
“Any person who harasses, threatens, insults, intimidates, obstructs, assaults, batters or disobeys any officer of the state or a security personnel in the course of enforcing this order, has committed an offence and shall upon conviction be liable to a term of imprisonment of not less than six months and a fine of N500,000,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said that a Magistrate Court of any grade shall have the power to summarily try offenders. (NAN)