The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said the federal government plans to ban the movement of certain categories of cargoes by roads after the completion of the ongoing major railway projects in the country.
He spoke at a panel discussion on infrastructure development and financing event organized by Deloitte on Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2020.
Amaechi whether his audience and Nigerians in general took this disclosure seriously or regarded it as something coming on the spur of the moment, it remains a fundamental statement capable of changing the country’s transport architecture, and is really an action worth taking. If not for anything, the action will drastically reduce the massive loss of lives on our roads. In fact, considering the pains and huge losses road haulage has inflicted on the country, one cannot but applaud the plan.
As a matter of fact, haulage of bulky cargoes such as containers, iron rods, heavy equipment and machinery, and petroleum products have taken immeasurable tolls on lives and property of Nigerians. Many lives have been lost in frequent accidents involving articulated trucks carrying containers. Containers easily fall off the trucks and kill other motorists and road users because of the containers not being properly latched or the truck being poorly maintained. The carelessness of the drivers, especially younger ones who have no regards for human lives is another cause of frequent accidents involving trailers on our roads.
Tankers laden with petroleum products have over time constituted a weapon of mass destruction on Nigerian roads. Uncountable lives have been lost in numerous infernos that result from petrol tanker accidents, as chains of vehicles, houses and facilities and properties are usually affected. The numerous incidents on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the main gateway to Lagos from other parts of the country cannot easily be forgotten. Indeed, there is no part of the country that has not experienced the destructive power of petrol tankers. The occurrences of accidents involving these articulated vehicles are so frequent and very devastating that the fear of the vehicles is the beginning of wisdom by other road users.