By Eunice Usman
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has advised owners of articulated vehicles to always abide by laid down laws guiding movement into, and within the city..
Bello gave the advice when a delegation of national executives of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and Petroleum Tanker Drivers led by NUPENG’s national President, Comrade Prince William Akporeha, paid a courtesy visit to the FCT Administration.
The Minister stressed that traffic laws specified that articulated vehicles were restricted from plying roads in the mornings and early evenings, adding that the law was in place to safe guard lives and property
He said: “There are timings as to when articulated vehicles are allowed to move. And normally, the restrictions are mainly in the morning and early evening along the major arterial roads of Gwagwalada, Suleja and Mararaba so that tanker movements will not clash with the heavy vehicular movement in the city at such hours”
Bello lamented the loss of lives and property that usually follow any tanker mishap, urging the tanker drivers to work with government to avoid such incidences by obeying laid down road traffic laws.
The Minister who commended NUPENG for its contributions to the nation’s economy, especially in the area of job creation, described the Union as an important stakeholder in the Nigeria project.
He assured his guests that efforts were being intensified to ensure the establishment of a truck yard in the FCT to serve as a transit park for tankers and equipped with facilities to ensure that drivers get good rest, freshen up and be in a better state of mind to journey further without endangering their lives and that of other road users due to fatigue.
The Minister disclosed that there were plans in the Abuja masterplan for the construction of a 45km expressway from the outskirt of the city to the city centre. He said when constructed, the road would among other things, serve as safe passage for articulated vehicles.
He said: “On the long term basis, benefits of which will be after my tenure, there is going to be a major expressway that will start from Gwagwalada and come into the city through Apo. It is about 45km and it’s going to be ten lanes, three carriage way at the centre and two service lanes. It will come to happen”.
Malam Bello also commended the union for the role it played during the resurfacing of the Abuja Airport when it helped with the movement of bitumen used for that project.
Earlier, NUPENG President had commended the Minister for his efforts towards making Abuja one of the safest and peaceful cities in the country while expressing the desire of the Union to be a part of the developmental drive in the FCT.
Also speaking, the National Chairman, Petroleum Tanker Drivers Branch of NUPENG, Comrade Otunba Oladiti Akanni Salimon, said development of any city should not be left to government alone, hence the association’s pledge to collaborate with the FCTA in order to contribute its quota to the development of the FCT.
FCT road traffic laws restrict the movement of articulated vehicles within the city from 5 am to 10am in the mornings and from 4pm -9pm in the evenings.