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Tanker drivers sleep inside trucks over terminal absence in Anambra – IPMAN

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Praise Necherem

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 its products in the state.

The representative of the body in Anambra state, Umeugochukwu Chibueze, disclosed this at a meeting of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) with stakeholders of petroleum products carrying vehicles and other articulated trucks towards an accident free yuletide and beyond.

He said the drivers had severally been compelled to sleep inside their tankers following absence of parks in the state, regretting that some of them had slept off on the wheels resulting to road crashes.

He said: “We have severally appealed 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 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 would not only reduce road crashes, but also serve as revenue generation for the state.

Also speaking, 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 inaugurated as overseers of 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, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on NUPENG, Petroleum and Union Matters, Comrade Peter Nwosu, pleaded with the body not to contemplate further protest, assuring them of urgent resolution to the crises. He also revealed that government was working assiduously towards fulfilling its promise of provision of a terminal in the state.

Earlier, 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 2 percent 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 had the support of all the stakeholders, because, articulated vehicles had one of the highest percentage of crashes, about 40 percent.

“Since the drivers are under your control, we plead with you to fashion ways of ensuring that the state is devoid of crashes. Even if there will be crashes, let there be no deaths,” he pleaded

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