Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has called for support of business mogul, Aliko Dangote, in building Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) across the country.
He made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during National Summit on Establishment, Management and Operation of Truck Transit Parks in Nigeria.
The two-day summit was organised by Federal Ministry of Transportation, in collaboration with Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
Represented by John Eboigbe, Director of Finance and Administration in the ministry, Kachikwu said the call came ahead of the Dangote Refinery, expected to begin production between 2019 and 2020.
He said, “When the refinery begins production, it would increase the number of trailers and tankers delivering products across the country, hence the need for proactive measures to minimise hazards on the roads.
“We call on Alhaji Aliko Dangote, National Association of Road Transport organisations and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers to embark on private construction of truck parks and service base for their trucks and for commercialization.
“The need for Dangote to champion this call is underscored by the fact that there is a 650-million-barrel per day refinery that will come on-stream by 2019-2020.
“You can imagine what the situation will look like if parks are not constructed for trucks before then.
“When TTPs are constructed, Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) will be persuaded to construct MEGA stations in the parks.”
The minister added that NNPC would also provide technical and safety standards for oil tankers and trucks at the parks in line with international standard.
Kachikwu said that establishing a service base would also be of immense benefit to Petroleum Equalisation Management Fund, charged with the automation of tracking system of petroleum products on transit.
Vice Chairman, House Committee on Land Transport, Ovie Omo-Agege pledged the support of the National Assembly in establishing the TTPs.
He said the parks, when constructed, would go a long way in addressing problems caused by heavy duty trailers and trucks on highways and in transforming the transport sector.
“The National Assembly remains prepared to provide every legislative support required to achieve the dream of the Buhari-Osinbajo administration for the transformation of the Nigerian transport landscape.
“The strides of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi in this regard has been bold and indeed commendable.
“It will interest you to know that on our part in the National Assembly, besides, the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill 2016 currently at advanced stage, Chairman of Senate Committee on Land Transport, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, has equally sponsored Nigerian Institute of Logistics and Transport Bill 2016.
“When passed into law, it would contribute to developing requisite manpower in mass transit sector of the transportation landscape.
“It is my hope therefore that at the end of this summit, we will have achieved greater synergy between government and operators,” he said.
In her remark, Mrs Antonia Ekpa, Director of Road Transport and Mass Transit, Federal Ministry of Transportation, said the establishment of TTPs across the country was in line with global practice.
She disclosed that the protocols of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) made it imperative for member countries to provide such facilities to make trade and transit within the sub-region easy, affordable and safe.
Ekpa said the TTPs, when established, would reduce accidents and gridlock on highways.
She added that the parks, also referred to as “Rest Stop’’ and “Truck Terminal’’, would provide guest houses where drivers could rest on transit, conveniences, filling stations and restaurants.
The Federal Government planned to establish TTPs in Lokoja in Kogi, Obollo-Affor in Enugu State, Ogere in Ogun, Jeba in Kwara and Port Novo Creeek in Lagos State.