THE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says the Nigerian would have been N9.8 billion richer in 2018, but for truck accidents in the country.
The Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, made this known during this year’s edition of the National Safety Training Programme for Petroleum Tanker Driver in Lagos.
The training was organised by the Lagos State branch of the National Union of Petroleum and National Gas Workers (NUPENG).
Speaking at the event, Oyeyemi said there was a slight improvement in the truck accidents recorded in 2018 when compared to 2017 and 2016 figures. While the number of truck crashes in 2016 was 282, that of 2017 was 240 and the figure recorded so far in 2018 was 196.
The FRSC boss explained that the total loss was arrived at by calculating the cost of the vehicles involved in the crashes, as well as the damage to the environment and roads, adding that the lives that were lost in the accidents cannot be measured in monetary terms.
“We have an agreement with NUPENG PTD to organise periodic training programme for their drivers. This is very critical even though we have seen a reduction in the traffic crashes involving tanker drivers,’ Oyeyemi said.
“We have recorded 196 this year and the economic value is about N9.8 billion loss, involving cost of other vehicles, lives, damage to the environment and to the roads.
“NUPENG PTD is putting its best to set up a capacity workshop for the tanker drivers. Once they finish in Lagos, the other programme will take place in Kaduna and Warri and this is very impressive.
“We are going to give our maximum support to NUPENG towards ensuring that the 4,000 tanker drivers are fully trained.”
Oyeyemi also advised NUPENG to carry out regular visual tests for tanker drivers, as a study by the FRSC found that about 30 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers had visual acuity challenges.
He advised that wearing a pair of glasses if need be, will improve drivers’ vision.
Also, Oyeyemi observed that many drivers were hypertensive and had high sugar levels, urging NUPENG to ensure that drivers undergo periodic medical examination to ensure road safety culture in the country.
Also speaking at the event, the National Chairman of the Petrol Tankers Drivers (PTD), Salmon Oniditi, said that the training which started three years ago has led to a reduction in accidents.
He commended FRSC for its involvement and support in the training since the inception of the programme and urged fellow members to always be professional in their activities.
Oniditi pledged that NUPENG will continue partnering with the FRSC to ensure that petroleum tanker drivers did not become a nuisance to the society. (NAN)