Awka – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has identified absence of truck terminals in Anambra state and deplorable roads as major challenges confronting drivers conveying petroleum products in the state.
A representative of the body in Anambra state, Umeugochukwu Chibueze, disclosed this on Wednesday during a meeting of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and stakeholders of Petroleum products carrying vehicles and other articulated trucks.
The engagement is aimed at achieving an accident free yuletide and beyond in the state.
According to Chibueze, the drivers who had severally been compelled to sleep inside their tankers following absence of parks in the state, usually sleep off on the wheels resulting to road crashes.
He said, “We have severally appealled to government to provide us with a park for our trucks and drivers. The one they showed us around Ogidi axis is hilly which will be difficult for the trucks to climb.
“Yes, the SSA has promised us they’re working on it, but the truth is that we need that park urgently to enable the drivers recreate. Driving from Lagos down to the East normally takes two days due to bad roads. Both the vehicle and driver are hot and need to rest.
“Some of them wear the same clothes without taking their baths for two good days. Some of them are beaten by mosquitoes inside the truck, and sometimes attacked by armed robbers on the way.”
Umeugochukwu stressed that the rehabilitation of the roads and provision of a well located terminal with basic facilities will not only reduce road crashes, but also serve as revenue generation for the state.
The National Secretary, Tipper Drivers Association, Jerry Ifejika decried government imposition of non members of the association to head the body, wondering why non tipper owners or drivers would be asked to oversee the affairs of the body.
He disclosed plans by the body to block the highways in the state again in protest against the imposed leadership.
Reacting, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on NUPENG, Petroleum and Union Matters, Comrade Peter Nwosu, pleaded with the body against further protests, assuring them of prompt resolution of the crises.
He also revealed that the promise of establishment of a terminal was receiving adequate attention.
Earlier, the State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps ( FRSC), Andrew Kumapayi blamed most crashes by the articulated vehicles on speed, loss of control, fatigue on the part of the drivers and state of the trucks.
He said the rate of road crashes from January to June reduced by 2percent as against last year’s figure, expressing optimism of further reduction to 50 percent before the end of the year.
He called for the support of the stakeholders to ensure safe motoring environment in the state.
“We believe we can achieve that feat if we have the support of all the stakeholders, because articulated vehicles have one of the highest percentage of crashes, about 40 percentage.
“Since the drivers are under your control, we plead you fashion out ways of ensuring that the state are void of crashes. Even if there will be crashes, let there be no deaths,” he pleaded.