By Glory Onojedo
Transport is a critical determinant in the conduct of international trade and impacts on national economies. The availability, quality, cost, and efficiency of transport services influence the trading environment and the competitiveness of export goods on the international market as well as the cost of imported goods.
The challenges posed to truck drivers and cargo in transit in a developing country like Nigeria where trucking is the major mode for long distance haulage can be very enormous. These challenges are even more compounded in the absence of resting areas and vehicle maintenance for the drivers and trucks respectively. Fatigue and accident is one in a number of resultant effect.
To this end, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council conceived the Truck Transit Park project (also known as rest stops) to provide a coordinated and conducive parking facilities for trucks drivers at selected locations across the nation’s busy highways.
A Truck Transit Park (TTP) is a modern, state of the art, common user facility, off the highway where truck drivers can conveniently park their vehicles get accommodation, fuel, food, drinks, rest rooms, showers and other basic supply like oil and spare-parts as well as servicing of their vehicles.
The parks are primarily intended for short-term safety breaks and also long-term parking services in high-use corridors. When fully operational, TTPs will provide security and easy tracking of cargoes along the transport chain.
The TTP project will directly address aspects of transport infrastructure deficit in the country by providing short-term resting place for truck drivers on long distance travels and reduce loss to life and cargo caused by accidents arising from fatigue.
Standard Truck Transit Parks will have the following facilities: Gas Station, Hotel and Motel, Restaurants, Mechanic Workshop, Fire Station, Police Post, Weight Bridges, Automated Cargo Tracking System etc.
Benefit Of Truck Transit Parks
The benefits of Truck Transit Parks cannot be overemphasized and a few of these are outlined below:
TTPs will provide safety breaks for truck drivers thereby reducing fatigue and incidence of accident.
Carnage and destruction of cargo and vehicles on Nigerian roads are common sites. TTPs will promote safety and security of cargoes and haulage vehicles while in transit.
Cargo bearing trucks parked on road shoulders and access ramps are prone to security challenges. TTPs will reduce pilferage and theft of cargoes while on transit.
TTPs will afford cargo owners the means to monitor the movement of cargoes through a cargo tracking system installed in respective TTPs
Landlocked neighbouring country of Niger depends on Nigerian seaports for the import and export cargo. It’s cargo are currently transported by trucks. TTPs is sure to improve trade with these landlocked neighbouring countries and increase revenue generated through improved trade relationship.
TTPs will create employment opportunities, wealth creation for the people through the development of businesses around the location and improved Internally Generated Revenue for hosts state government.
Infrastructure Improves Live, Empower People
In line with Federal Government policy direction to urgently address the infrastructure deficit in the country and particularly in the transport sector, government is motivated to adopt the Public Private Partnership (PPP) option.
To attract private expertise and or capital investment for infrastructure and service delivery improvements (often to either supplement scarce public resources or release them for other public needs).
To increase efficiency and use available resources for infrastructure and service delivery more effectively.
To create employment and infrastructure development
Feasibility Study Report on the Establishment of TTP
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council following the approval of the Honourable Minister of Transportation sponsored the conduct of feasibility study for the establishment of Truck Transit Parks in the seven (7) locations across the country. The market analysis as well as the business and operating model addressed the supply gap for a modern TTP. The financial models evaluate the economic viability of the project and strongly indicate that the project is worthwhile under different financing options. Indeed, Truck Transit Parks could be a viable business in any high volume road corridor in any part of the country.
Lokoja, Kogi State, Jebba, Kwara State Obollo-Afor, Enugu State, Mararaban Jos, Kaduna State Ogere, Ogun State, Onitsha, Anambra State Port Novo Creek, Lagos State Ore, Ondo State
As a general conclusion, one can say that what applies to the truck-parking applies to corridors in general. There is a lack of conducive parking facilities for drivers to take rest and use overnight facilities, and lack of security and safety of cargo in transit. Therefore, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council welcomes prospective investors from the private sector to join forces with it in finding a solution to truck parking problem.
– Onojedo is a staff of Nigerian Shippers Council.