…Set to impound any trailer seen at night
Stories by Bimbola Oyesola, 08033246177
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) will henceforth impound any trailer seen at night. The messure is to reduce accidents.
This is even as it will commence the enforcement of the compulsory installation of Speed Limiter and Safety Valve on all petroleum products trucks with effect from 1st of February 2017.
Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, speaking at the branch executive council meeting of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) held at the weekend in Lagos, said the enforcement of the impounding of trailers carrying fuel at night on Nigeria roads would commence immediately.
”Any tanker seen at night would be impounded by my men, this however would be without any penalty, but the driver would be made to sleep and would only be released at 6 a.m to continue his journey”, he said.
Lamenting the alarming rate of incidence of casualty due to incessant trailer accidents, Oyeyemi said most of the trailers on the road are over 30 years hence the more reason why the drivers should reduce their speed while on the road.
He noted that in the past 12 months 283 crashes were recorded, majority which could have been avoided if the drivers adhere to instructions.
He said that the country recorded some respite after the FRSC organised trainings for the drivers, but picked up again early this year, adding that the FRSC was ready to work with the PTD leadership to nip the calamity in the bud.
He said, “We need to work on this, need to stem the tide. Some tankers don’t have fire extinguishers. Government is worried and still worried till date, drivers drive on the fast lane, speeding in spite of the load. They supposed to go at 40. We are appealing to you all that we should record zero crash at this period. FRSC and PTD must work together, this carnage must stop.”
The FRSC boss also charged the PTD to tell the tanker drivers never to give money to the FRSC officers on the road, but rather should report any of such infringement to PTD who will then inform him for necessary action.
In the communique of the meeting signed by the National Chairman, Salimon Oladiti and National Secretary, Sunday Ochievjibve, the PTD members blamed the increasing rate of petroleum tanker accidents to several factors which include poor state of road infrastructure in the country, the high cost of running transportation business, flooding of Nigerian spare parts markets with fake/ substandard spare parts, and the attitude of the petroleum tanker drivers and other stakeholders.
To stem the tide however, the group called for immediate convening of a stakeholders meeting with the theme, “Safety on the road”, involving all major stakeholders who are involved in the petroleum products supply and distribution to secure their support for major policies direction of the federal government.
It added, “the branch will intensify the continuous training of every tanker driver on safety on the wheel in collaboration with other professional bodies and agencies. Each zone is directed to train at least 1000 tanker drivers on the wheel on the safe driving in the first quarter of 2017.”
Improving productivity: NSITF to prioritise staff training in 2017
As part of the efforts to improve productivity and increase efficiency of its workforce, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has concluded plans to intensify the training of its staff in the New Year.
The Acting Managing Director, Ismail Agaka, who stated this recently at the enforcement officers’ training programme in Lagos, said the management has identified capacity building as a remedy for low productivity and has embarked on an aggressive training programme to bridge the gap.
The NSITF boss stressed that enforcement is central to the implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS), which is why it has been a major area of concentration in the organisation’s capacity building programmes.
THE NSITF helmsman explained that the term ‘enforcement’ signified use of force such that are employed by the law enforcement agencies, explaining that the term ‘compliance’ would have been more appropriate within the job description of the department.
While calling on employers to willingly enrol their employees on the scheme, Agaka hinted that an Act of Parliament backs the Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS) and so every employer of labour in Nigeria is expected to willingly subscribe to it.
“Because the ECS is new in the country, there is a need for officers of the Fund to persuade employers to comply with the Scheme in order for their employees to benefit from the many advantages as enunciated in the Act. The law is only invoked against a recalcitrant employer when every effort to persuade such employer fails,” he said.
The NSITF helmsman also said that the training programme of the staffers would be continuous exercise.
Speaking at the occasion, the General Manager, Administration, Human Resources and Maintenance, Olusegun Basorun, encouraged the enforcement officers to go the extra mile to stand out in their professional duties.
“Consider the degree that earned you this employment obsolete, ensure you upgrade yourselves from time to time and leverage opportunities such as this, so as to be up to date with world’s best practices while making sure you embrace integrity and hard work,” he said.
On her own part, the General Manager Lagos Region, Mrs Funke Aleshinloye, explained that the economy of Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is private sector driven which influence the decision of the Fund to lay high premium on enforcement officers’ training and increasing their capacity in order to deliver on their mandate of ensuring employers comply to the requirements of the employees’ compensation scheme.
She added: “It is one thing to have a great product, it is another thing to be able to convincingly present the product to those who are in need of it. Clearly, private businesses stand to benefit from the ECS; otherwise they might not be able to meet up with their obligations if their employees sustain injuries or dies in the course of work. ECS has already been designed to take care of that, but we must show the employers how attractive the package is”, she said.
Though the number of employers that have registered on the Scheme has continued to rise, Aleshinloye insisted that the rise is still not impressive considering the number of employers in the Lagos region.
LG autonomy: TUC backs Senate on scrapping of joint accts
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has supported the Senate’s position on the need to get rid of State and Local Governments Joint Account as part of the move to ensure autonomy of third tier of government.
The congress, also called on the House of Representatives and the Presidency to support it, adding that in like manner, the state legislatures should follow suit .
The congress, in a statement signed by the President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the Secretary-General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said the joint account idea was a laudable one, but its implementation has been faulty.
“Over the years we have witnessed illegal deduction, delay in the release of funds and in some cases total diversion of local government statutory allocations by the state governors. These undue interferences have become a clog on the wheel of development at the local government level. For effective service delivery it cannot be business as usual”, it noted.
The labour centre said the original idea behind local government creation is profoundly to bring governance closer to the people through effective supervision of the distribution and efficient management of revenue accruing to the local government councils from the federation account. But lamented that rather than being a vehicle that should drive rural development, the governors take advantage of it to make some unnecessary deductions thereby, denying the people at the grassroot basic amenities.
It added, “The Congress supports the financial autonomy of the local government because of their role towards national economic development. This should not be taken for granted as it contributed about 12% to public expenditure before oil become the mainstream of revenue sources to the federation. The councils are incapacitated to discharge their constitutional mandates and this is traceable to the unjust treatment meted to them by the state governments.”
It stated that the laudable recommendation by Senate must be embraced immediately, maintaining that the state governments have so much money within their reach hence they are so much involved in the politics of do or die.
TUC lamented that even with their security votes many governors still have nothing to show and yet cannot remove their eyes from local government funds.
“Further encroachment into the exclusive preserves of the Local Governments must stop now. This senate decision deserves commendation”, the Congress stressed.