The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said there is a new initiative in place which is aimed at preventing future incidents of petrol tanker accidents. Yesterday, the Group Managing Director of the state-owned oil company, Mele Kyari, gathered stakeholders in Abuja to unveil the new initiative which is called the Safe-To-Load-Programme.
A brief statement made available by the NNPC disclosed that the initiative is a brainchild of Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mr Mustapha was represented at the event by Ademola Ali, a staff of the SGF Office.
Other stakeholders, who attended the meeting, include key officials from the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), staff from the Federal Ministry of Works/Housing & Transport, officials of the Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Corporation, among others.
While addressing the stakeholders, the NNPC GMD stressed that it had become imperative to proffer a lasting solution to the incessant incidents of petrol tanker explosions across the country. He also claimed that safety is a core value of the NNPC, which is why this measure is being adopted in order to address the problem at hand.
Speaking further, he disclosed that the Safe-To-Load-Programme basically entails the following:
- digitisation of all analogue loading facilities;
- ensuring that every truck departing NNPC’s depots meets the required axle limits;
- weight-bridges and sprinklers will be installed in every loading gantry; and
- the NNPC is also working to fix its pipelines in order to facilitate movement of petroleum products without excessive reliance on road transportation.
Recall that in 2019 alone, there have been many reported incidents of petrol tanker explosions in the country. This is mainly because Nigeria transports its refined petroleum products by its mostly deplorable roads.
Last month, Nairametrics reported how fire gutted some parts of the popular Upper Iweka and Ochanja Market in Onitsha, Anambra State after a tanker loaded with petrol fell and exploded. Some deaths were reported, even as many shops with very valuable goods were razed down in the inferno.
In June 2018, Nigerians were outraged after a petrol tanker fell and exploded on Otedola Bridge in Lagos.