By Monday Ijeh
The Federal Government is set to enforce regulations against abuses on federal roads says the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
Fashola said this in Abuja when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship interview programme, NAN Forum.
He said that Federal Government was working towards the re-introduction of weigh bridges adding that the President has also issued instrument of ratification to an ECOWAS treaty to regulate axle loading within the sub-region.
The minister said that Nigeria was a party to the treaty and added that the Federal Government was building towards the enforcement of the regulations.
Fashola said the President had also signed an approval that the enforcement of the regulations should start from the loading points, petrol depots and sea ports.
He said the Federal Government was putting up programme to educate and share details of the new axle load regulations signed by the president among Nigerians.
According to the minister, the programme is to encourage Nigerians to voluntarily embrace compliance on the new regulations, noting that a stakeholders meeting had been arranged.
“We are having a one day stakeholders meeting on Monday where all stakeholders will agree to voluntarily comply.
“Any vehicle that exceeded those load capacities in violation of the instrument of ratification will not be loaded,” he said.
Speaking more on the introduction of weigh bridges, Fashola said the Federal Government was working towards the reintroduction of weigh bridges on critical highways to also address the problems of overloading.
According to him, we have issued regulations to take away those commercial benefits of overloading by making it extremely unprofitable, if you are caught.
He said the Federal Government would introduce fines for overloading because perpetrators do so for commercial benefits, adding that with stiffer fines and penalties, violators would think twice before doing it.
Fashola said the Federal Government had issued advertisement for people to take over the weigh bridges, build warehouses and operate
According to him, we have made the regulations for charging people who overloaded, they have to dislodge the excess in the warehouses and pay penalties for storage and trans-shipping.
Fashola said the enforcement of the regulations would create employment opportunities for other people because smaller trucks would be used to carry the excess load.
“So if you want to go through that, then you are welcome, we will make all of the regulations that will help you to make it expensive
“Those who abuse our roads do that at our expense and for their financial gains; so, we want to take all of the financial gains away from them,” he said.