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Onitsha Fire: Anambra restricts movement of petrol-laden tankers

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THE Anambra State government has announced a time restriction to the movement of tankers laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the state from 8 pm-5 am, with effect from November 2.

The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

Adinuba said the time restriction follows the incessant cases accidents by tankers carrying petroleum products in the state and the most recent one at the early hours of Thursday, October 31 along Enugu- Onitsha express road.

He explained that the restriction was to enable agencies like; the Anambra State Fire Service, Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps and other security, law enforcement and safety agencies to respond effectively, in good time to related emergencies as the Ochanja inferno.

Adinuba said all the affected agencies were directed to religiously enforce the restriction order on the movement of vehicles laden with petroleum products in the state.

“They have also been directed to ensure that such vehicles do not exceed the speed limit of 90 kilometres per hour,” the Commissioner said.

“Any violation of either the time restriction order or the speed limit will be punished accordingly. The protection of the life and asset of every person in Anambra State cannot be compromised.

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“All stakeholders, including oil marketers, workers, tanker drivers and indeed concerned persons in the downstream oil sector are urged to bear with the state and help to adhere to this regulation which is made strictly in the overriding public interest,” he added.

Recalled on October 16, the residents of Onitsha, the commercial centre of Anambra  State witnessed  an inferno which razed down some parts of the Ochanja market.

The inferno reportedly happened, when a truck carrying petroleum product had an accident at the Upper Iweka axis of Onitsha.

It was reported that the fire had ravaged traders commodities, before the arrival of the state fire fighters.

The Federal Fire Services in a statement, said the delay was as a result of a gridlock encountered at the overhead bridge by the fire service operatives coming from nearby Asaba, Delta State.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari,  reacted to the gory incident, calling on the Ministry of Transportation, Federal Road Safety Commission and other stakeholders agencies to urgently address the issue of safety standards in Nigeria, with a view to stemming the frequency of such tragedies.

“I am calling for urgent action on the part of those concerned to stem these frequent fatal disasters on public roads. Safety precautions and routine maintenance, often taken for granted by vehicle owners, must be enforced,” Buhari said.

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