The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has signed a Memorandum of Understating, MoU, with the Nigerian Shippers Council to facilitate movement of goods across the country.
Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, and the Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, signed on behalf of their organisations at a brief ceremony hosted by the FRSC in Abuja on Friday.
Initiated by the NSC, the MoU seeks to drive implementation of the Road Transport Standardisation Scheme, RTSS, as it affects truck operations for prompt delivery of goods across the country.
Bello said the agreement would provide a platform for collaboration between the FRSC and NSC to address relevant road transport issues including frequent breakdown of trucks on the highways.
“The MoU is to work with the Nigeria Shippers Council as an economic regulator just like the FRSC about free movement of goods, the delivery of goods, good transport infrastructure.
“As you know, 90 per cent of the goods coming into Nigeria are distributed by road.
“So, it is important we have not only the good road as an infrastructure, but we should have supporting facilities such as the truck transit parks to ensure smooth delivery.
“This goes to the economy of the country. We don’t want to have delays. We don’t want to have obstructions.
“We should always have smooth flow of roads, deliver to people at the time they want at less cost.”
Specifically, he said the MoU would address the issue of frequent breakdown of trucks on the highways by providing a convenient refleeting plan for truck operators.
Bello said the FRSC would provide technical support to the NSC in the construction of modern truck transit parks in strategic locations to de-congest the nation’s highways under the collaboration.
He disclosed that the Kogi and Enugu state governments had already bought into the project by providing land for the proposed parks at Obolo-Afor in Enugu and Lokoja in Kogi.
On his part, Oyeyemi said the FRSC would handle the regulatory aspect of the MoU bordering on certification of the proposed parks, registration of fleet operators and removal of broken down trucks.
“With the Nigeria Shippers Council now playing a lead role in respect of parks, the work of the corps is to partner with them to ensure that the parks they want to construct are appropriately located and that means we have to also work with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
“Then two, the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme provides for all the truck owners to register with the Corps.
“So, the regulatory aspect of the Corps’ function is to be effectively implemented with the shippers council, and that is why I am so excited.
“On the issue of database, we are now going to have a joint database.
“We should be able to tell the country, for planning purposes and economic investment, how many tankers, trailers and trucks of different categories we have in the country and their state.’’
The FRSC boss said most of the congestion experienced on the nation’s highways were caused by frequent breakdown of old trucks most of which were over 30 years old.
He said truck owners were in dire need of policy intervention that would assist them to refleet through affordable loan facilities from the banks
“We are battling with old trucks, and there is an urgent need to address this.
“So, with the Shippers Council I think they would be able to get the platform to reach the government for intervention which is very critical and urgent,’’ Oyeyemi said.
Meanwhile, Oyeyemi and Bello announced the constitution of a Joint Implementation Committee comprising three officers from both the FRSC and NSC for the agreement.
The FRSC boss also advised his NSC counterpart to send two officers to the Corps for training on the proposed joint database.(NAN)