Federal government has constituted a Presidential Inter-Agency Committee for the evacuation of trucks and trailers from the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway to ease vehicular movement and reduce damage on the highway.
The director of Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing who is also the committee chairman, Engr Folorunsho Esan, disclosed this during an inspection tour of the road.
Esan said the ministry will provide a temporary park at Tafa, along Kaduna Road, where the vehicles can park. He added that the park will accommodate about 500 trucks when fully operationalised, thereby addressing the problems of road access and insecurity in the area.
He said the committee was set up by the works and housing minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola on the directive of the president for the evacuation of trucks from the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road to enable contractors to have full access to work on the road.
He added that the purpose of the inspection was to assess areas where the trucks could be relocated to away from the right of way.
“Also, road users can have free passage without bottlenecks. So we are here to inspect facilities that are available where trucks can now be moved to,” he explained.
The chairman said the Tafa axis of the road was more troublesome, adding however that there was provision for where trucks will be moved to.
“One of the very pronounced bottlenecks is in Tafa and fortunately enough, we have an empty land acquired by Federal Road Maintenance Agency although they have not been able to do anything on it.
“But we are thinking of moving the trucks from Tafa to that plot of land after some ground improvements on the land for trailers to be able to stay without sinking,” he said.
He said various unions like the Tanker Drivers NARTO, NURTW, and others are in support of the government to move their trucks from the road anytime the trailer park is ready along that axis.
The representative of the Petroleum Tankers Association, Comrade. Abdullahi Haruna said the tanker drivers were ready to move as soon as an alternative parking space was provided.
“We, the petrol tanker drivers, are ready to work with the committee to evacuate trucks from the road.
Haruna said there was a need to make the park conducive for the users through the provision of basic facilities like borehole, toilets and canteens.
He said, “What we are appealing for is that the palliative or temporary work should be done well. If it is good, there would be no need of planning for a permanent park, we will use this one.”