Road sector stakeholders have commended the federal government’s effort at constructing and rehabilitating roads across the country.
Speaking at a One-Day Public Enlightenment on the Developments in the Road Sector, the stakeholders, who included the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association among other road users, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, has done well to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the nation’s road sector.
In his goodwill message at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre venue of the event, President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najimdeem Yasin, who congratulated the Minister, Babatunde Fashola for his efforts in executing the 2017 budget, noted that “since the beginning of this democratic dispensation, the road sector in the country never had it as good as is being currently experienced despite the shortfall in the nation’s revenue generation.
The NURTW boss however pointed out that as the efforts of the government towards improving the roads were being applauded, it was also necessary to direct its attention to a lot more of the roads that still needed urgent attention, urging the Minister to put in place a mechanism to institutionalize the culture of construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of Federal roads as well as putting necessary instruments that would guide against the abuse of the roads by the road users.
The Union leader urged that weighbridges, transit parks other road furniture be provided to ensure safer use of roads, adding that as a transport workers’ union occupying the leadership of the International Transport Federation (ITF) and the Global Vice President, the leadership of the union had taken the sensitisation and training of its members very seriously as it could not afford to operate short of international standards.
In his goodwill message, the President of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Kassim Bataiya, who was last week elected President of the African Road Transport Union in Marrakech, Morocco, represented by the Executive Secretary of the Union, Mr. Aloga I. Okpobo, commended the Minister for his efforts towards availing Nigerians motorable roads, recalling that the Unions recommended to the Minister that those constructing such trucks above 60,000 litres in the country should be warned to desist forthwith, adding that the Unions also asked government to give a five year moratorium to enable owners of such vehicles to recoup their investment before the final phase out.
Other recommendations, he said, included banning of the use of steel trucks and replace them with aluminum trucks. the issue of axle load, the rehabilitation and expansion of roads would “go a long way in bringing relief to Nigerian roads”.
He, on behalf of the group, expressed total support of the Association for the government in its quest to improve road networks in the country.
Presenting the keynote address, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustafa, presented the keynote address, urged stakeholders to do their own bit by operating on the roads being constructed and rehabilitated in line with the rules and regulations for the roads to live out their expected lifespan.
Others who presented goodwill speech included the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, the National Chairman of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers Association, Mr. Salimon Akanni Oladiti, the President, Road Employers Association of Nigeria, Chief Musa Osawre, represented by Comrade Henry Ejioffor.
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