Senate Passes Petroleum Tankers Safety Bill for Second Reading


Considers bill to address food security problems

Chuks Okocha and Deji Elumoye

A bill seeking to reduce frequent accidents by petroleum trucks on Nigerian roads yesterday scaled through the second reading in the Senate.

The Senate also yesterday commenced legislative action to address the country’s food security problems by considering a bill to that effect.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra South), seeks to make consequential provisions towards safe transportation of petroleum products across the country.

In his lead debate, Ubah said the bill became necessary to provide a legal framework peculiar to that segment of the transport sector, and to further strengthen existing collaborations among government agencies on transportation of petroleum products by roads.

He said the bill was inspired by the urgent need to promote safety in the transportation of petroleum products using trucks, and eliminate practices inimical to freight traffic and petroleum haulage in Nigeria.

“It also seeks to promote the welfare of tanker drivers by ensuring investments in Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) and related transport infrastructure,” Uba said.

The lawmaker recalled the high incidences of crashes by petroleum tankers over the years which often result in loss of lives and property.

“According to a study by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), between 2007 and 2010 alone, a total of 4,017 tanker/trailer crashes were recorded on Nigerian roads with the yearly average of 1,148 cases and monthly average of 96 crashes,” Ubah said.

It also proposed the establishment of Freight Traffic Liabilities Claim Tribunal to handle civil claims arising from petroleum tanker crashes to ensure speedy dispensation of justice to the victims.

Senators, who spoke on the bill, were unanimous on the urgent need to use legal framework to curb the menace.

The Senate has also commenced legislative action to address the country’s food security problems when it considered a bill to that effect.

The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia Central), provides for an Act to make ‘Provision for Freedom from Hunger and the Right to Adequate Food of Acceptable Quality’.