The Federal Government has entered into a treaty within the West African sub-region and beyond to regulate the amount of load any goods vehicle can carry on an axle and by extension on the road in order to do business within ECOWAS and beyond.
President Muhammadu Buhari who signed the treaty recently said the aim was to regulate acceptable axle load on the sub-region roads. The treaty was to advocate a change in road haulage activities so as to eradicate overloading of heavy duty vehicles on federal highways.
Buhari signed the treaty at a one-day Public Enlightenment on Developments in the Road Sector organised by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing held recently the NAF Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja.
The President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha, explained that the present administration whose focus is on infrastructure development, has raised budgetary allocation for capital projects from 15 per cent to 30 per cent, adding that “from 2015 to date, my administration has constructed and rehabilitated several hundred kilometres of federal roads and highways to ease the movement of persons, goods and services.”
Buhari, who confirmed the approval of the enforcement of the axle load control and regulations to commence from the loading points, stressed the need to change “our ways” so as to get value for the huge investment committed to the road sector. “As the head of this government, I have signed up for that change,” he said.
Earlier, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who acknowledged what the state governments are undertaking with regard to states and some federal roads, stated that the, “Ministry is convinced that voluntary compliance by stakeholders takes us nearer to the prosperity that is beckoning.”
Fashola explained that the interactive session was to discuss issues such as the achievements of the government in the sector, re-introduction of toll gates, provision and effective use of road furniture and prescribed penalties for abuse of the road furniture, among others.