… Sets Up Fact Finding Committee
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]agos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday held a meeting with petrol tanker drivers and other stakeholders in the transportation sector on the way forward for the incessant tankers accidents in the state, setting up a committee to examine the immediate and remote causes of the incidences in the last one week.
The Governor who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja said the committee which would be chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, would also prepare guidelines for ethical conduct for tanker drivers over the next two weeks.
Ambode, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, said that the Committee will also quickly engage the insurance industry to meet and work out appropriate policies that would protect ordinary Lagosians from havoc in future tanker incidences in the state.
Other members of the Committee include the Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Transport, Special Duties, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Commission, Director Fire Service, representative of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners, National Union of Petroleum Engineering Natural Gas, National Association of Road Transport Owners, Petroleum Tankers Drivers and Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA).
“I belief we have created the platform to bring immediate relief to those who have been affected. We are also waiting for the two final reports on the two incidences in Ipaja and Idimu in which we will take appropriate actions to bring further relief for our people”.
“I know that it is in the interest of every Lagosian that we extend the enforcement of traffic laws to all drivers in Lagos State. It is not only tanker drivers that offend us. We would not wait until another incident occurs before we take action. We know that all drivers must come under the enforcement of our traffic laws,” the governor said.
He maintained that the purpose of his administration is to make life simpler for people and for them to be able to live their life comfortably wherever they are.
He also said from preliminary investigation into the incidences, it has shown that they were primarily caused by human errors that were traceable to the drivers, stressing that there is the need to think outside the box.
He said there is the need for all stakeholders to avert the present situation and take a critical look at insurance because according to him, the government must protect the citizens from undue loss of properties, assets and lives.
The Governor said the incidences of the past few days are totally unacceptable to the Government and hence informed his decision to bring stakeholders together.
He said that his administration does not subscribe to forcing down directives on the people.
“We believed that you should be involved because we promised to run an all inclusive government. It is not in our interest to force down directives on the people without getting them involves”, he also said.
He also commended all the agencies like the Fire Service, LASEMA, FRSC, and the Police for the efforts they put up in the course of managing the tanker road crashes saying they have all shown the spirit of selflessness.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello while reeling out some of the submissions of stakeholders as reasons for the frequent road crashes by tanker drivers, said the present administration has resolved to do the needful to prevent a re- occurrence.
The Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners Association, Chief Remi Ogungbemi who also spoke, admitted that the operators are not doing enough because there are lapses which are traceable to them, stating that safety should however be everybody’s business.
On his part, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr. Babatunde Kokumo while speaking said there is need to revisit the issue of drivers in terms of their conduct and morale, stating that there should be minimum standard for drivers which could be enforced through the unions which have a lot of influence on them.