The Niger state government in Central Nigeria is set to enact a law banning petroleum tankers and other types of articulated vehicles from reckless parking across major towns and villages in the state due to incessant accidents usually caused by such vehicles.
The Governor of the State Abubakar Sani Bello stated this when he visited the scene of the recent petroleum tanker explosion at Diko village along Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
The Governor, who was at the scene of the incident to commiserate with the victims of the inferno, said the state would also prohibit all heavy-duty and articulated trucks carrying more than 35,000 tons or 33,000 Litres of fuel from plying the state roads.
He explained that a Bill to that effect will be sent to the State House of Assembly for prompt action adding that defaulters would be made to either pay a fine of N500,000, go to jail or both.
He said the state government will liaise with the Tanker Drivers and Owners association as well as other relevant stakeholders to ensure strict compliance when the law comes into effect.
“Very soon we will enact this law, we will have to find a way to regulate the weight they carry while plying our roads and ensure that tankers carrying petroleum products do not park within communities and endangering people’s lives in the process,” he said.
The Governor also directed the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to assist victims of the unfortunate incident.
Meanwhile, the Emir of Suleja, in whose domain the accident occurred, Auwal Ibrahim who supported the need to regulate the number of articulated vehicles plying major roads in the state, also called for the relocation of scattered Markets and Motor Parks linking to the roads.
A member representing Gurara, Suleja and Tafa Federal Constituency in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Abubakar Lado, said the Trailer Parks in the area will be revived and properly utilized as one of the necessary steps to forestall a reoccurrence of the incident.
However, the Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, Ahmed Ibrahim Inga stated that the death toll arising from the inferno has reached seven while eight people sustained the various degree of burns, as well as damaged 19 vehicles and lost properties yet to be quantified.