Nigerian gov’t inaugurates c’ttee to rid Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway of parked trucks
Story from Abah ADAH, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has constituted a Presidential Inter-Agency Committee for Evacuation of Trucks and Trailers along the right of way of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway to ease vehicular movement and reduce damage on the shoulders of the highway before the end of the year.
The Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) who is also the Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Folorunsho Esan, disclosed this during an inspection tour of the road.
Engr Esan, in a statement issued by the Director, Press & Public Relations, Boade Akinola, said the ministry would provide a temporary park at Tafa, along Kaduna road, where the vehicles can park adding that the park would accommodate about 500 trucks when fully operationalised thereby helping to address the problems of road access and insecurity in the area.
According to him, “The Committee was set up by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in line with a directive from the Presidency for trucks to be evacuated so that the contractors can take full possession to enable a hitch free work on the road,” he said.
He added that the purpose of the inspection was to assess areas where the trucks could be relocated to away from the Right-of-Way.
“Also, road users can have free passage without bottlenecks. So we are here to inspect facilities that are available where trucks can now be moved to,” he explained.
Continuing, the Chairman said that the Tafa corridor of the road was more troublesome, but added that there was provision where the trucks would be moved to.
“One of the very pronounced bottleneck is in Tafa and fortunately enough, we have an empty land acquired by Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), although they have not been able to do anything on it.
“But we are thinking of moving the trucks from Tafa to that plot of land after some ground improvements on the land for trailers to be able to stay without sinking,” he said.
On collaboration, he said various unions like the Tanker Drivers NARTO, NURTW, and others are in support of government to move their trucks from the road anytime the trailers park is ready along that axis.
Regarding collaboration with other stakeholders to clear the trucks, the representative of Petroleum Tankers Association, Comrade. Abdullahi Haruna, said that the tankers drivers were ready to move immediately to an alternative parking space that would be provided.
“We, the petrol tanker drivers are ready to work with the committee to evacuate trucks from the road, ‘he said.
Haruna said that there was the need to make the park conducive for the users through the provision of basic facilities like borehole, toilets and canteens.
“What we are appealing for is that the palliative or temporary work should be done well. If it is good, there would be no need of planning for a permanent park, we will use this one,” he said.
Reiterating the collaboration on moving trucks away from the road, the District Head of Jere, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, said that he was happy about the development and assured the committee that he would mobilise and make sure that the trucks leave the shoulders of the highway when the park is ready.
“We will give the ministry and concerned stakeholders necessary support that would lead to the permanent evacuation of trucks and trailers from the road,” he assured committee.
Other members of the committee include: The Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), the Nigerian Army among others.