13 February 2013

Nigeria: Ogun Govt/Truck Drivers Disagree Over Transport Policy

Abeokuta and Abuja — The Ogun State government and members of the truck drivers association in the state yesterday disagreed over the new transportation policy.

The state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, had directed that as part of measures to reduce truck induced accidents in the metropolis, movement of such category of transportation should be restricted between the hours of 9:00am-1:00pm and 8:00pm-6:00am.

But, the truck drivers during a protest in Abeokuta, maintained that such guideline was unacceptable, even as they sought the immediate release of their seized trucks.

President of the Truck Owners Association of Nigeria, Mr. Isiaka Ajetumobi, said the drivers cannot operate within the government stipulated time, adding, "we want a review of the time. 9:00am-1:00pm can stand, but, the evening time should be from 5:00pm to 6:00am."

He lamented that the new policy is taking a toll on their business, saying " because we cannot work at the quarries during the given time frame. Also, we want the government to release the 13 seized vehicles with lesser fines. We want to pay N10,000 and not N20,000 per truck."

The government had announced late last year that vehicles weighing at least 20 tonnes would be restricted between the stipulated time from January 1.

Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Transportation, Mr. Gbenga Opesanwo, on his part said the restriction became imperative to maintain safety on the roads, adding that the on-going road construction and expansion has narrowed the width of such roads and would make movement of big vehicles burdensome.

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