The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), has given March 31 deadline for the removal of all abandoned vehicles across the country.
Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal of the commission who gave the deadline in Abuja Abuja on Thursday, added that the vehicles constituted security threat to the society.
He spoke during an interactive session between FRSC and the Management of Dangote Group.
According to Oyeyemi, abandoned vehicles are potential dangers on the roads and will no longer be allowed to litter the roads any more.
“Dangote Group has one of the largest fleet of vehicles in the country and same way it has the highest number of abandoned vehicles on the highways.
“We have been given directive by our supervisor, Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, to clear the roads of the wrecks before end of March.
“Also, from recent report of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), we have been mandated to clear abandoned vehicles to reduce miscreants on the roads.
“I am highly delighted to have the delegation of Dangote Group here today and I am assuring them of FRSC’s assistance so that they can meet the deadline.
“All other owners of abandoned vehicles are thereby expected to evacuate their vehicles before the deadline of March 31 , in order to avoid penalties”, he said.
On how to avoid breakdown of vehicles without compromising safety on the roads, Oyeyemi called on large fleet operators like `Dangote’ to ensure proper training and retraining of their drivers.
“Heavy duty vehicle drivers are expected to be professional drivers, who value lives and worth of their vehicles and goods, which should make them to be more careful on the roads.
“Having about 6,000 trucks, tankers and trailers, each costing about N60million, apart from goods, operators like Dangote are expocted to establish their own driving schools for periodic training of drivers.
“The company is also expected to have weigh bridges in their plants and other loading points so that they will not engage in Axle load violation”, he added.
Oyeyemi said large fleet operators could seek waivers and ship in their Speed Limit Device (SLD), and install them if they want, emphasizing that the policy would be fully enforced.
He noted that those measures are contained in FRSC’s guidelines for fleet operators and other road users, which is in line with UN Decade of Action, as well as ECOWAS Resolution on road safety.
Alhaji Muhammad Yakasai, Special Assistant to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the group said, “we will set up six evacaution teams by March 1 to meat the deadline.
“Each team will be mandated to evacuate our abandoned vehicles in each geo-political zone, and we will intensify efforts in retraining our drivers.
“We are already planning to assign a truck officer to each of our vehicle to ensure adherence to basic road safety rules in our fleet”, he said.
Yakasai commended the FRSC for organising the session and said the company would always work with the commission.
The session was also attended by the representatives of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, National Security Adviser, DSS, and principal officers of FRSC.