The Leaders of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport workers (NURTW) have called on the federal government to put measure in place that will reduce the cost of getting foreign exchange (FX) which is much needed for maintenance of commercial vehicles.
The union leaders noted that the bad state of roads generally in Nigeria is having a heavy toll on transporters and their vehicles. This important hint was shared at the Road Safety Stakeholders Meeting organized by the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) during her VIS Safety Campaign Week 2021-2022.
While speaking at the meeting, one of the union leaders said “I must commend that this kind of programme is very good. This is the period that roads are very busy. We, in the transport sector, want to make money so vehicles that don’t go more than once before will now want to go 2, 3 times. This kind of ember publicity should be a routine activity on radio, newspaper, and flyers for people to know about safety.”
“On road maintenance, we, VIO, FRSC, are stakeholders; government does not know most of the things going on our roads. What I think we should do is where there is need for repairs, we should be writing reports on regular basis to government office for repairs. It is not all of us that can manage to drive on bad roads. On vehicle maintenance, government should bring down dollars, pounds and euros because things are expensive. Maintaining a vehicle these days is expensive.”
Another branch leader of the trade union said “on tyres, this is what causes majority of accidents. When a vehicle overspeeds, the air in the tyre increases and if the tyre is not strong, it will burst and lead to carnage. What is government doing about production of tyres in Nigeria? When we were growing up, we had Dunlop, Michelin in Ikeja, you get new tyres directly nobody bothers about used tyres but today, there is plenty of fake tyres in the market. Nobody is controlling their influx into the country. Let’s come back to the past days when we have production, you will see people buy quality, the price won’t be too costly, and we won’t be having issues of tyres getting worn out easily.”
“On manifest, NURTW partnered with FRSC for manifest but I still discovered that most vehicles ply the expressway without manifest. How does FRSC manage those vehicles who don’t load from the garages, those ones that just pick passengers along the road?’
On the issue of proliferation of articulated vehicles in the country, ‘I see trailers, articulated vehicles, rugged trailers that will overspeed even me driving a car. And if you travel to other countries, it is not like that. Trailers have their minimum speed with which they should move on the express. If you look at the carnage on the express and you talk of casualties, it is mostly caused by trailers. You will see that some are being driven by underaged. How did this underaged people get their driving license? Where did they get it is a question for the Vehicle Inspection Office.”
Addressing the FRSC and VIO on a couple of issues affecting members of the union, another leader said ‘On the issue of camera, it was introduced so that when people cause issues on the road, once you can get their number plates on camera, you will go and drop their bill in their homes. But you still find that today FRSC and VIO are still running after buses on the road. When it turns to accident, FRSC and VIO will run away. What is the essence of camera when you know you will still chase buses?’
“On 3rd Party Insurance, FRSC and VIO introduced standard 3rd Party Insurance which is being issued at the rate of N7500 and any vehicle that does not have it will be arrested. After issuing the insurance and the FRSC and VIO monitor it, if 2 vehicles are involved in an accident, if this offender has the insurance, what he is to do is to introduce the damaged vehicle to the insurers for it to be repaired. This covers N1 million. However, when damages come, insurance companies don’t want to respond. VIO please look into this.”
“On streetlighting, our former Governor Ambode did Light Up Lagos but some of them are damaged by vehicles. When Police arrest those vehicles, they will collect money for pole and streetlight but it will not be installed. Are those ones not dangerous to safety? At least can’t the Police remove the poles from the road if they cannot replace it since they collected money?”
additional information on the report from trekafrica