The Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has begun training its members in the wake of recurrent road accidents caused by tanker drivers across the country.
The Chairman of the union’s Lagos Chapter, Tokunbo Korodo, said at one of the training sessions that the leadership of the union was disturbed over the trend and its fallout.
“We are losing properties, we are losing lives, we are losing a lot of infrastructure to these accidents,” he regretted.
“So the leadership has resolved to ensure that we train our drivers and retrain them very well, so that we have an accident-free year. We started last year very late, but this year we are starting early so that by the ending of the year, we should have been able to train almost all drivers on steering. So this will help reduce the recurrent rate of accidents on our highway by our tanker drivers.”
The PTD’s Vice National Chairman, Solomon Kilanko said, ” We are starting in Lagos again from now till the 17th of February, 3 days every week to make sure we cover another 1,500 tanker drivers and we believe it will go a long way to reduce accidents, give them a sense of belonging and feel responsible and drive responsibly.
“Last year we knew that the training helped because in Lagos alone, we were able to train 900 drivers on steering. Nationwide, we had another 1,500 to them, so we have over 2000 trained drivers and the feedback from the marketers and transporters shows that it was a laudable exercise because the rate of accidents reduced and we believe we have more drivers to be trained and that is why this year, we are aiming to train up to 4,000 tanker drivers.”
Kilanko further stressed that, “We believe it will change their attitude, one of the problems we observed is that the accidents recorded are from untrained drivers like the motor boys, their assistants. So that is what we will be telling them, not to give trucks to untrained drivers. After they have been trained, they will be certified and at every depot where they load, they will be cross-checked and even along the road they will be checked to ensure that it will be the trained drivers that will handle the steering and we believe these steps will help reduce the rate of accidents on our highways,” he said.