The Federal Government’s initiative to float Truck Transit Parks (TTP) along major highways is expected to save over $15 billion currently lost to road accidents yearly.
The standard parks, to be built through Public Private Partnership (PPP), is planned for Kogi, Enugu, Ogun, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, and Anambra states.
The one-stop-shop parks promoted by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), would save huge volumes of cargoes hitherto lost to indiscriminate parking of trucks along major roads, and increase the life span of the routes.
The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, at the National Summit on the Establishment, Management, and Operation of TTPs in Nigeria, said the high statistics of road accidents and loss of cargoes occasioned by bad roads are of great concern to government.
He said: “The Federal Government plans over the next couple of years to develop TTPs at Lokoja in Kogi State; Obollo-Afor in Enugu State; Ogere in Ogun State; Jebba in Kwara; and Port Novo Creek in Lagos as an alternative strategy to address the menace of truck congestion at the seaports in Apapa and Port Harcourt.
“These are meant to complement the Ore Sunshine City in Ondo State; and the ones being processed by the Kaduna State Government at Mararaba, Jos, Buruku, and Tapa on the Kaduna-Abuja highway.” he said. Amaechi therefore urged the state governors to fast track the provision and process of developing the critical road infrastructure.
“The Federal Government shall ensure that TTP projects independently developed by state governments and private investors meet a minimum standard in the number of facilities provided by TTP sites. It shall also ensure that the TTPs are economic and business hub creating wealth and employment for our teeming population particularly the youths,” he said.
Former Secretary for Transport and Aviation, United Kingdom, Paul Clark, said it is imperative for Nigeria to develop its critical road infrastructure, which is key to the nation’s economic growth.
Citing the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Safety Report, Clark said road crashes represent three per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or monetary value of $15 billion.
Clark therefore lauded the TTP initiative, which he said would greatly reduce loss of lives and cargoes to road crashes.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, said the modern state of the art facilities are designed as one-stop-shop where truck drivers can conveniently park their vehicles get accommodation, fuel, food, drinks, restrooms, showers and other basic supplies like oil and spare parts as well as servicing of their vehicles.
When fully established, Bello said these facilities would enhance the industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP).
The standard TTPs will have facilities such as; gas station, hotel, restaurants, mechanic workshop, fire station, police post, weigh bridges and automated cargo tracking system, and a host of others.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, corroborating the need for the TTPs also called on the Dangote Group,
National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), and other road transport organisations to embark on private construction of trailer parks and services for their trucks and for commercialisation.
“The need for Dangote to champion this project is underscored by the fact that there is a 650-million-barrel per day refinery that is going to come on stream by 2019/2020. You can imagine what the situation will look like if service bays and parks of this nature are not constructed before 2019/2020. Our road will virtually become a nightmare,” he said.
Kachikwu said NNPC will be persuaded to build mega station within the parks and provide technical and safety standards for oil tankers and trucks at the park in line with international standards.