The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has expressed concern over the incessant falling of trucks on the highway with a call that government should develop and encourage use of alternative means of transporting containers through railways, waterways and Inland Container Depots (ICDs).
The association also said that it is the responsibility of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to enforce minimum safety standard of trucks and ensure that only trucks that are certified fit and up to standard are allowed to access the port.
Speaking at a press briefing held at its secretariat yesterday, President of the association, Captain Ade Olopoenia decried the dilapidated port access roads even as he argued that the Lagos State Government restriction of truck movement to night only cannot be sustained majorly because of insecurity.
He noted that the Lagos metropolis will experience more accidents on the road if the truck drivers are to work only at night because of the bad port access roads.
“When there is no restriction of truck movement to night, containers are falling because of the bad road. If they now restrict it to only night, it means we will see more of these accidents,” he said.
While urging the government to create better road infrastructure, Olopoenia noted that when alternative means of transporting containers are in use, it will go a long way in stemming the tide of truck accidents as there will be less concentration of trucks on the road.
According to him, 80 percent of the problem associated with containers falling off trucks will be avoided if containers go through rail and badges.
Also speaking, a former president of the association, Captain Adewale Ishola decried the high number of aged and rickety trucks operating in the ports and plying the roads as well as the engagement of underage boys as truck drivers.
He advised that only qualified drivers who have valid driver’s license and particulars provided by the appropriate authorities should be engaged.
Ishola also stressed the need for training and retraining of truck driver’s adding that alcohol intake should be discouraged among the drivers.
He said that road worthiness of trucks should be enforced by relevant regulatory agencies.