Abuja - Stakeholders in commercial road transport sector have appealed to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to postpone the enforcement of installation of speed limiter device on commercial vehicles slated to commence on June 1.
The appeal was made on Tuesday in Abuja by some union leaders while speaking to newsmen on their preparation for the June 1 deadline on installation of the device on commercial vehicles in the country.
According to the stakeholders, the device is a good means of reducing crashes on the nation's roads, but said the appeal becomes necessary because they need more time to sensitise their members.
The FRSC had, after consultation with the relevant stakeholders, fixed June 1 for commencement of enforcement of installation of the device.
NAN also recalls that the commission had identified speed as the cause of 50.8 per cent of road crashes in the country and that commercial vehicles account for 40 per cent fatalities on the nation's roads.
Salmon Oladiti, National Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), appealed for more time to sensitise his members to the exercise.
"We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the authority that they should give us a little time in order to sensitise our members across the country.
"Speed limiter device is very good for our country, it controls our drivers on the highways.
"If they can give us like 90 days, which is three months, it will be good and the time will be getting close to New Year and Eid-el-Kabir festivals," he said.
Similarly, Alhaji Najeem Yasin, President, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), said the regulators should delay enforcement for the next four months to enable the union to sensitise its members to the initiative.
"We appeal to the FRSC to give us four months to get prepared so that every member of our union can be better prepared for the enforcement of the speed limit device.
"We need to sensitise our members across every geo-political zone in the country," Yasin said.
Also, Adeniyi Yusuf, National Secretary General of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), cited the security situation in some parts of the country among reasons the enforcement should be postponed.
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"The time frame is too short and there is need for proper awareness, our people need proper enlightenment to be put in proper shape so that they wouldn't have problem with it.
"We appeal to FRSC to grant us at least three months interval to this time in order to create awareness among our members in all the geo-political zones.
"There are some areas which are no-go areas in the past few months but we believe in the next few months, everything will be all right.
"We are appealing that if additional time is given, the enlightenment will be carried out throughout the federation and it will make the programme a huge success.
"The last election affected our sensitisation because when the election was approaching, everything had to be suspended," Yusuf said.
Segun Aiyedun, a commercial driver, said, "FRSC should give us little time to install the device on our vehicles because it is new in this part of the world.
"The device will help reduce accidents on our roads, so, there is need for adequate awareness campaign for all road users," he said.
Another commercial driver, Paul Agabi, said, "I have heard about the device but I have not bought it.
"I will be happy if they can postpone the date of enforcement so that it will not make passengers to suffer because many drivers are yet to fix the device on their vehicles," Agabi said.
In his reaction, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, said,"the decision for commencement of enforcement on June 1 was not taken by FRSC, but that it was a collective decision of all stakeholders, including NURTW, RTEAN,NUPENG, Ministry of Works and other critical stakeholders.
"The Unions’ call for extension is not a decision I can take on, on my own, I just got a brief report on it.
"FRSC is working toward the enforcement programme but if the union is calling for this, we may have to call for an urgent meeting with the key stakeholders on this appeal.
"We are in a transition period, and we want to ensure a smooth programme for the incoming administration," Oyeyemi said.