Worried by the carnage on the roads by unscrupulous petroleum tanker drivers, the Federal Government has decided to ban fuel trucks with capacity more than 45,000 litres.
It means that those fuel tankers that have capacities to carry 60,000 to 90,000 litres of fuel would be limited to loading just 45,000 litres in order to limit the pressure they exert on the roads due to their weights.
Because of the loads the trucks carry they are easily thrown off balance on the roads thereby causing serious accidents and damages to infrastructure.
Speaking during a visit of members of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) to Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Lagos, director of Petroleum Resources, Sarki Auwalu, outlined four cardinal focuses for downstream operations as parts of efforts to continue to enable businesses create opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
Auwalu disclosed to his visitors that three years ago there was directive from the Presidency that drew attention to the need to address businesses that had to do with distribution of petroleum products and the problems they constitute to human lives and infrastructure.
It is rather unfortunate that we migrated from trucks carrying 30,000 litres to 40,000, 60,000, 90,000 litres capacity, plying our roads and we can see how fatal accidents do happen, especially with the big trucks on our roads, he lamented.
The DPR director said at the meeting with the Presidency, a decision was taken to see how the incidents of accidents caused by these trucks could be reduced.
According to Auwalu, there are about 45,000 of these high capacity trucks plying Nigerian roads distributing petroleum products, and to curb their menace on the road the DPR has created same registration for haulage.
“It has been agreed that vehicle that would carry petroleum products should be those whose capacities are 45,000 litres and below. Even when a truck has more than that capacity the standard would be that they cannot load beyond 45,000 litres.
“By the time the exercise takes off, if a truck has 90,000 litres capacity it should be filled to half of it capacity, and if it is 60,000 capacity the content to be taken should also be limited to 45,000 litres. All these would be tracked,” he said.
Earlier, while speaking, chairman of DAPPMAN, Winifred Akpani, commended the Department for its robust regulatory initiatives and engagements with stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, which has created the enabling environment for their businesses.
She said the DAPPMAN would continue to provide support for government policies, especially in its drive for price freedom in the downstream sector.
She advised that the issue of deregulation should be well thought out, stating further that what the country was doing currently was not deregulation as market forces were not allowed to freely operate. Investment may not be attracted to the industry based on what currently operates in case of price of petrol, she said.
The DAPPMA boss also urged the DPR to have a master plan for the gas programme, which the government is embarking on just as she expects that the agency should have uniformity in all its dealings with other stakeholders in the industry.
Regulation of gas skid at filling station was also one of the requests of DAPPMA, as it solicited the DPR assistance over the issue of various state governments levies imposed on its members.