Niger Moves Against Oil Tankers, Trucks

by Pita Chib, Minna

Following the spate of petroleum tankers explosion in some parts of Niger State, the state government said it will enact law banning such tankers from parking indiscriminately  in towns.

Governor Abubakar Bello, drop the hint  gave  when  he visited the scene of the recent petroleum Tanker explosion at Diko Junction in Suleja Local Government Area of the state.

Bello, who was at the scene of the incident to commiserate with the victims of the inferno said the law will also prohibit all heavy duty and articulated trucks carrying more than 35,000 tons or 33,000 Litres of Fuel  from plying the state roads.

He explained that a Bill to that effect will be sent to the State Assembly for prompt action adding that defaulters would be made to pay a fine of N500, 000, go to jail or both.

The Governor also lamented on the effect of accidents caused by the Petroleum Tankers and the damage done to the roads as a result of the heavy haulage they carry.

He said the state government will liaise with the Tanker Drivers and Owners association as well as other relevant stakeholders to ensure strict compliance when the law comes into effect.

"Very soon we will enact  this law, we will have to find a way to regulate the weight they carry while plying our roads and ensure that Tankers carrying petroleum products do not park within communities and endangering people's lives in the process".

While praying for the reposed of the  souls of those who lost their lives and speedy recovery for the injured, Bello also directed the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to assist victims of the unfortunate incident.

The Governor also visited and commiserated with the Emir of Suleja, Muhammad Awal Ibrahim over the incident where he solicited the support of the Traditional Rulers in formulation and enforcement of the said law.

Responding, Malam Awal Ibrahim expressed concern over the deplorable condition  of roads in the country adding that it was about time the private sector assist government in road construction and rehabilitation.

The Emir, who expressed the need to regulate the number of articulated vehicles plying township roads also advised that Markets and Motor Parks be relocated far away from major roadside for the security and safety of the people.

Earlier, the Director General NSEMA, Ahmed Ibrahim Inga,  disclosed that the death toll arising from the inferno has reached seven while eight people sustained various degree of burns. He said 19 vehicles were destroyed while properties lost to the disaster were yet to be quantified but could run into millions of Naira
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