In its determination to provide safe road environment for its customers, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has signed a Memoriam of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the enforcement of minimum safety standards in vehicles that operate from and to the ports. Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the Ports Authority Headquarters Lagos on Wednesday, the Managing Director, Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman stated that the synergy between the Authority and the FRSC was anchored on the need to protect lives and property of port stakeholders accessing its services in the face of threats by vehicles operating there without meeting minimum safety standards.
The goals, according to her would hopefully be achieved through the platform of Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme (RTSSS) which FRSC launched some years back to create orderliness in trucks and fleet operations.
Mrs Usman further stated that NPA launched an enforcement campaign for safety and minimum standards of trucks operating in ports within Lagos area, adding that it was in the effort to further upgrade and improve on the successes recorded that it adopted the FRSC’s Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme (RTSSS) .
“It is in view of this that we are gathered here today to synergise with the FRSC by signing this MOU between the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Federal Road Safety Corps,” she stated.
The Managing Director expressed confidence in the successful outcome of the synergy which would become effective from 1st March 2017 in all the ports locations, saying it would be a lasting solution to the problem of poor state of trucks that has for long affected smooth clearance of cargo and vehicular traffic at the ports.
She commended the Corps Marshal for his unflinching commitment to the realisation of the initiative and solicited for further support that would extend the benefits to the entire port industry and all stakeholders as outlined in the document of memorandum of understanding.
In his remarks, the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi while commending the Managing Director for the enthusiasm she has shown towards safety and security of port operators noted that her commitment is evidenced by her zeal to get the memorandum of understanding between the NPA and the FRSC signed.
He expressed total support for the initiative, describing it as both timely and in line with the vision of safer road environment which the FRSC is pursuing through stakeholders’ collaboration.
Oyeyemi further noted ports facilities are strategic economic infrastructure of the nation which can support development if well harnessed, saying every efforts must be made to ensure that goods and cargoes that pass to and from the facilities are safely conveyed to boost growth and restore public confidence in their usage. The Corps Marshal recalled that FRSC has been concerned with the traffic situation being experienced along the ports, noting that that they are characterised traffic congestion and vowed to mobilise all available resources of the FRSC to achieve safety through enforcement of minimum safety standards in the vehicles that operate at the ports.
He disclosed that as part of the collaborative initiative between the FRSC and the NPA, some selected staff of the ports authority would be given specialist training on how to detect fake and genuine driver’s licence and number plates, with a view to enhancing regulations on minimum safety standards on vehicles that operate within the ports.
“I want to commend the Managing Director for the commitment she has shown towards the success of this initiative. I assure you that FRSC will remain committed to the success of the initiative, and it is my belief that by the time we come back meet in the next one year to review the implementation of this policy, it would be a huge success story for both parties,” Oyeyemi stated.
In a related development, the Corps Marshal and the Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Nigeria PLC, Uzorma Dozie have agreed to explore ways of creating opportunities for the mutual benefits of the FRSC and the Bank.
This was the outcome of the meeting between the two Chief Executives when the Corps Marshal visited the Bank’s corporate Headquarters Lagos, in search of collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
According to the Corps Marshal, with the Corps’ desire for increased productivity among staff through functional welfare programmes, coupled with the need for the Bank to play its corporate social responsibility roles especially in the area of public awareness creation and provision of loan facilities, there is the need for partnership based on trust and understanding.
To this end, the two Chief Executives agreed to sustain further discussion and explore ways by which the Bank could assist the FRSC in achieving its 2017 strategic goal of aggressive pursuit of public enlightenment and education particularly with the plans by the Corps to establish its Traffic Radio as well as its staff welfare programmes in the area of house ownership scheme and loanable funds for short and long term economic financing.
The Corps Marshal particularly expressed confidence in the success of the collaborative initiatives with the Bank, stressing that with its track record of support for the FRSC, he had no doubt that the two organisations could benefit from further collaboration. In the same vein, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, described FRSC as a credible organisation which can be relied upon for support as its activities are human centred.
The Corps Marshal was accompanied on the visit by some senior officers of the FRSC National Headquarters including the Sector Commander of Lagos State.