Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, yesterday said any truck caught carrying cargoes exceeding 12 tonnes on federal roads across Nigeria will henceforth pay between N1 million and N10 million fine.
Fahola said while inspecting the refurbished Digital Truck Weigh Bridge at Old Toll Gate along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that the measure was not just about tolling but geared towards the highway development initiatives of the federal government to curb abuse of highways which causes quick degeneration.
He said overloaded trucks usually constitute danger to themselves, the infrastructure and other road users and appealed to the media to join in sensitisation to end the ugly trend.
“No matter how beautiful, how well designed the highways are, they are built with a specification, once you don’t comply with those specifications you are abusing or misusing the assets.
“Now, those specifications are global. So, they are not Nigerian made, every country in the world has subscribed to them. And so, if we see things in other parts that we like how they look, it is because they are properly used.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the ECOWAS Axle Load Regulation signed by all ECOWAS countries, and one of the first things President Buhari did in the first term of his administration was to ratify that convention locally.
“So, those are the regulations that you see, that we have published on that wall just to further educate people, they have been gazetted showing the approved axles per truck and type of truck and what each truck can carry,” he said.
He stated that his office empowered him to make regulations, hence the new calibrated bills for contravention of axle loads.
Fashola maintained that the fines against erring articulated vehicles were to serve as deterrent.
He said the federal government was fixing weigh bridges to regulate axle load to increase the lifespan of the highways while at the same time creating thousands of jobs.
According to him, the weigh bridges will generate 50,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect employment opportunities to boost the economic livelihood of Nigerians.