By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-The National President, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Alhaji Musa Shehu Isiwele has kicked against the Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s (NSC) plan to develop Truck Transit Parks(TTP) in eight states, saying that it is not the duty of the Council.
Alh. Isiwele who disclosed this to journalists during an interview in Abuja,questioned the move by the NSC, stressing that the Council which deals with water and ships has no business venturing into developing Truck Transit Parks which has to do with roads.
A Truck Transit Park (TTP) is a public rest area located off the road, designed to provide temporary rest location for truck drivers. It is primarily intended for short-term breaks and also long-term parking services where truck drivers can get fuel, food, restrooms, shower and basic supplies like oil and spare parts as well as servicing and repairs of haulage vehicles.
You will recall that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is promoting the development of Truck Transit Park projects across the country on a Public Private Partnership in line with the Federal Government Policy direction to address the infrastructure deficit in the country, provide short-term resting place for truck drivers on long distance travels and reduce loss to life and cargo caused by accidents arising from fatigue.
However, the RTEAN Boss stressed that, “The Truck Transit Parks that Shippers’ Council wants to build, it is not their duty because Shippers’ Council, they deal with ship, what’s their business with road transport, do they have trucks on the roads? We are calling on government to do this or give us intervention fund as they give other people, so that we can build highway motor parks, bring back toll gates and highway bridges. What is Shippers’ Council’s business with highjacking our job?
“They are Shippers’ Council, they deal with water and ships. Why they are saying that is because they are getting fund from the government that’s why they want to divert from their own profession to transport to come and divert our own” he said.
Meanwhile, Alh.Isiwele also reacted to the proposed cattle colony by the government, stating that the problem lies with the owners of the cows who equip the rearers with expensive arms and ammunition, noting that cattle rearing is a private business and not for government.
“My advice, Sambisa forest is a big forest, why can’t they put road and let them put their cows there and any body that wants to buy can go to sambisa and buy instead of taking cows to someone’s farm to eat up their crops. It is very very bad. We are talking of united Nigeria, we shouldn’t allow this grazing something to cause problem for us because it is a personal business” he opined.
Speaking on the achievements of RTEAN in 2017, he said that a six storey building Secretariat was launched at Jahi Abuja; 18 Toyota Corolla was given to some state chairmen as official cars and 11 scholarships were given out with about 4 people graduating from the scholarships that were given in the previous years.
On the plans for 2018, he announced that RTEAN is partnering with foreign organisations to create about 4.5 million job opportunities for junior graduates.
“We also want to partner with some companies, they have come to Nigeria to inspect our workshop in Lagos where they will come and assemble some Europe truck, high capacity buses from Brazil, that one will soon commence. Ninety (90) days from now some of the equipment will arrive and the job opportunities will be seen”.
On the issue of motor park touting, he said “We are going to build modern motor parks in the 36 states and Abuja which will have filling stations, a bank, fire service office, mini hotel where some drivers can sleep and take off tomorrow. We will have one in every state and when we see results, we will continue to do more”.
While stating that the Association does not tolerate drivers taking alcohol nor any stimulant before leaving the parks, he called on passengers to kick against drivers who stop on the roads to take alcohol while driving so as to ensure their safety.