FG moves to establish truck transit parks, By Jide Ayobolu

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OrijoReporter.com, FG moves to establish truck transit parks By Jide Ayobolu

The Federal Government is seeking to establish Truck Transit Parks (TTP) in the country in a bid to provide a short-term resting place for truck drivers that move cargo on long distances on Nigerian roads as a means of reducing road accident in the country.

Read also: FG offers tax holidays, duty waivers to mining investors, by Jide Ayobolu

According to a statement made available by Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) Head of Special Duties, Nweke Ignatius at the weekend reveals that the Ministry of Transportation and other key stakeholders in the industry will meet on the 19th of November, 2017 to discuss the modalities of implementation of the initiative.

Nweke stated that the Minister for Transportation, ” Rotimi Amaechi will be the Chief Host at the event and would lead discussions with the aim to deal with issues of funding for the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) and the Truck Transit Parks (TTP), both PPP projects targeted at decongesting the seaports and providing public rest areas designed to provide temporary rest location for truck drivers.

“The roundtable which is an initiative of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) is also aimed at fine-tuning arrangements for the establishment of Truck Transit Parks (TTP) to provide a short-term resting place for truck drivers on long-distance travels and reduce loss to life and cargo caused by accidents arising from fatigue” he noted.

He said “the roundtable will parade key transport industry stakeholders, Captains of Industry, notable among them, World’s richest black man and President of the Dangote Group and AbdulSalam Rabiu of the BUA Group. It is primarily intended to engage leading investments and development companies and banks like the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), AFRICEXIM Bank and many other investors to bring in their resources and invest in these viable projects that would bring good returns within a short period of time,” Nweke said.

He said Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema and Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah will be keynote speakers at the event. Nweke explained that while Inland Container Depots (ICDs) otherwise referred to as Dry Ports operate as centres for transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations, Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) are places for short-term breaks and also long-term parking services where truck drivers can get fuel, food, restrooms, shower and basic supplies like oil and spare parts as well as servicing and repairs of haulage vehicles.

He said the roundtable will among other things, deliberate on how to consolidate on the success recorded with the (ICDs), upon the completion of the Kaduna Dry Port. According to him, the roundtable will equally discuss the market analysis that has already been conducted as well as how the business and operating model can address the supply gap for a modern TTPs.

“Feasibility studies have been conducted for the establishment of the Truck Transit Parks in Lokoja ( Kogi State); Obollo-Afor (Enugu State); Jebba (Kwara State); Ore (Ondo State); Ogere (Ogun State); Porto Novo Creek (Lagos state); Onitsha (Anambra State) and Mararaban Jos (Kaduna State),” he said.

The statement said the Truck Transit Parks will have the following facilities: Gas Station, Hotel, and Motel, Restaurants, Mechanic Workshop, Fire Station, Police Post, Automated Cargo Tracking System. Organizers of the event said the focus of the roundtable is to brainstorm on ways to address the infrastructure deficit in the transport sector, decongesting the seaports by ensuring the smooth take-off of the Inland Container Depots (ICDs). Among those expected at the roundtable are stakeholders in the transportation sector, captains of industry, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), AFRICEXIM Bank, and top government functionaries.

It has been pointed out that, transport is a critical determinant in the conduct of international trade and impacts on national economies. The availability, quality, cost, and efficiency of transport services influence the trading environment and the competitiveness of export goods on the international market as well as the cost of imported goods.

The challenges posed to truck drivers and cargo in transit in a developing country like Nigeria where trucking is the major mode for long distance haulage can be very enormous.

These challenges are even more compounded in the absence of resting areas and vehicle maintenance for the drivers and trucks respectively. Fatigue and accident is one in a number of resultant effect.

To this end, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council conceived the Truck Transit Park project (also known as rest stops) to provide coordinated and conducive parking facilities for trucks drivers at selected locations across the nation’s busy highways.

A Truck Transit Park (TTP) is a modern, state of the art, common user facility, off the highway where truck drivers can conveniently park their vehicles get accommodation, fuel, food, drinks, rest rooms, showers and other basic supply like oil and spare-parts as well as servicing of their vehicles.

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The parks are primarily intended for short-term safety breaks and also long-term parking services in high-use corridors. When fully operational, TTPs will provide security and easy tracking of cargoes along the transport chain.

The TTP project will directly address aspects of transport infrastructure deficit in the country by providing short-term resting place for truck drivers on long distance travels and reduce loss to life and cargo caused by accidents arising from fatigue. Standard Truck Transit Parks will have the following facilities: Gas Station, Hotel and Motel, Restaurants, Mechanic Workshop, Fire Station, Police Post, Weight Bridges, Automated Cargo Tracking System etc.

The benefits of Truck Transit Parks cannot be overemphasized and a few of these are outlined below:

•TTPs will provide safety breaks for truck drivers thereby reducing fatigue and incidence of accident.
•Carnage and destruction of cargo and vehicles on Nigerian roads are common sites. TTPs will promote safety and security of cargoes and haulage vehicles while in transit.
•Cargo bearing trucks parked on road shoulders and access ramps are prone to security challenges. TTPs will reduce pilferage and theft of cargoes while on transit.
•TTPs will afford cargo owners the means to monitor the movement of cargoes through a cargo tracking system installed in respective TTPs
•Landlocked neighbouring country of Niger depends on Nigerian seaports for the import and export cargo. It’s cargo are currently transported by trucks. TTPs is sure to improve trade with these landlocked neighbouring countries and increase revenue generated through improved trade relationship.
•TTPs will create employment opportunities, wealth creation for the people through the development of businesses around the location and improved Internally Generated Revenue for hosts state government.

In line with Federal Government policy direction to urgently address the infrastructure deficit in the country and particularly in the transport sector, government is motivated to adopt the Public Private Partnership (PPP) option.
•To attract private expertise and or capital investment for infrastructure and service delivery improvements (often to either supplement scarce public resources or release them for other public needs).
•To increase efficiency and use available resources for infrastructure and service delivery more effectively.
•To create employment and infrastructure development
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council following the approval of the Honourable Minister of Transportation sponsored the conduct of feasibility study for the establishment of Truck Transit Parks in the seven (7) locations across the country. The market analysis as well as the business and operating model addressed the supply gap for a modern TTP.

The financial models evaluate the economic viability of the project and strongly indicate that the project is worthwhile under different financing options. Indeed, Truck Transit Parks could be a viable business in any high volume road corridor in any part of the country. Lokoja, Kogi State, Jebba, Kwara State Obollo-Afor, Enugu State, Mararaban Jos, Kaduna State Ogere, Ogun State, Onitsha, Anambra State Port Novo Creek, Lagos State Ore, Ondo State

As a general conclusion, one can say that what applies to the truck-parking applies to corridors in general. There is a lack of conducive parking facilities for drivers to take rest and use overnight facilities, and lack of security and safety of cargo in transit.

Therefore, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council welcomes prospective investors from the private sector to join forces with it in finding a solution to truck parking problem.

According to the Nigeria Shippers Council, promoting the development of Truck Transit Park projects across the country on a Public Private Partnership in line with the Federal Government Policy direction to address the infrastructure deficit in the country, provide short-term resting place for truck drivers on long distance travels and reduce loss to life and cargo caused by accidents arising from fatigue.

A Truck Transit Park (TTP) is a public rest area located off the road, designed to provide temporary rest location for truck drivers. It is primarily intended for short-term breaks and also long-term parking services where truck drivers can get fuel, food, restrooms, shower and basic supplies like oil and spare parts as well as servicing and repairs of haulage vehicles.

The Truck Transit Parks will have the following facilities: Gas Station, Hotel and Motel, Restaurants, Mechanic Workshop, Fire Station, Police Post, Automated Cargo Tracking System.

The main objectives of the project and the anticipated benefits are:
a. To promote safety and security of cargoes and haulage vehicles while in transit.
b. To reduce pilferage and theft of cargoes while in transit.
c. To afford cargo owners the means to monitor the movement of cargoes through a cargo tracking system to be located in respective TTPs.
d. To improve transit and trade with landlocked neighbouring countries.

Feasibility study has been conducted for the establishment of Truck Transit Parks in the locations stated below.

The market analysis as well as the business and operating model addressed the supply gap for a modern TTP. The financial models evaluate the economic viability of the project and strongly indicate that the project is worthwhile under different financing options.
⦁ Lokoja, Kogi State
⦁ Obollo-Afor, Enugu State
⦁ Jebba, Kwara State
⦁ Ore, Ondo State
⦁ Ogere, Ogun State
⦁ Porto Novo Creek, Lagos state
⦁ Onitsha, Anambra State
⦁ Mararaban Jos, Kaduna State.

It would be recalled that, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has called for support of business mogul, Aliko Dangote, in building Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) across the country. He made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during National Summit on Establishment, Management and Operation of Truck Transit Parks in Nigeria.
he two-day summit was organised by Federal Ministry of Transportation,

in collaboration with Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC). Represented by Mr John Eboigbe, Director of Finance and Administration in the ministry, Kachikwu said the call came ahead of the Dangote Refinery, expected to begin production between 2019 and 2020.

He said “when the refinery begins production, it would increase the number of trailers and tankers delivering products across the country, hence the need for proactive measures to minimize hazards on the roads.

“We call on Alhaji Aliko Dangote, National Association of Road Transport organizations and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers to embark on private construction of truck parks and service base for their trucks and for commercialization.

He added that “the need for Dangote to champion this call is underscored by the fact that there is a 650-million-barrel per day refinery that will come onstream by 2019-2020.

“You can imagine what the situation will look like if parks are not constructed for trucks before then.

“When TTPs are constructed, Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) will be persuaded to construct MEGA stations in the parks.”

The minister added that NNPC would also provide technical and safety standards for oil tankers and trucks at the parks in line with international standard.

Kachikwu said that establishing a service base would also be of immense benefit to Petroleum Equalisation Management Fund, charged with the automation of tracking system of petroleum products on transit.

Rep. Ovie Omo-Agege, Vice Chairman, House Committee on Land Transport, pledged the support of the National Assembly in establishing the TTPs. He said that the parks, when constructed, would go a long way in addressing problems caused by heavy duty trailers and trucks on highways and in transforming the transport sector.

He said “the National Assembly remains prepared to provide every legislative support required to achieve the dream of the Buhari-Osinbajo administration for the transformation of the Nigerian transport landscape.

“The strides of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi in this regard has been bold and indeed commendable.

“It will interest you to know that on our part in the National Assembly, besides, the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill 2016 currently at advanced stage, Chairman of Senate Committee on Land Transport, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, has equally sponsored Nigerian Institute of Logistics and Transport Bill 2016.

“When passed into law, it would contribute to developing requisite manpower in mass transit sector of the transportation landscape. “It is my hope therefore that at the end of this summit, we will have achieved greater synergy between government and operators.”

In her remark, Mrs Antonia Ekpa, Director of Road Transport and Mass Transit, Federal Ministry of Transportation, said the establishment of TTPs across the country was in line with global practice. She disclosed that the Protocols of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) made it imperative for member countries to provide such facilities to make trade and transit within the sub-region easy, affordable and safe.

Ekpa said the TTPs, when established, would reduce accidents and gridlock on highways. She added that the parks, also referred to as “Rest Stop’’ and “Truck Terminal’’, would provide guest houses where drivers could rest on transit, conveniences, filling stations and restaurants.

The Federal Government planned to establish TTPs in Lokoja in Kogi, Obollo-Affor in Enugu State, Ogere in Ogun, Jeba in Kwara and Port Novo Creeek in Lagos State.

Ayobolu, a public affairs analyst contributed this piece from Lagos State.

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