During Wednesday, June 24, 2015 plenary proceedings in the senate, the senate took a motion on Fuel Tanker Tragedies on Nigeria’s highways.
Senator Ashafa who moved the motion expressed serious concerns on the frequency and negative economic impact of the collapse and explosion of fuel-laden tankers on the nation’s highways.
Recalling that within the space of one week, four fuel tanker spills and explosions occurred in two major Nigerian cities with attendant catastrophic results in the destruction of lives and properties. Statistics on the incidents in Lagos and Onitsha, two commercial centres, show that a combined total of 114 shops, 34 buildings, 21 vehicles, tricycles and trucks were affected by the incident, not excluding loss and injury to human lives.
The motion by Senator Ashafa raised serious posers as to what had become of the rail-line projects of past administrations as an alternative route to the carriage of such dangerous cargo.
The motion also placed the nation’s ailing refineries under the radar, noting that if all of Nigeria’s refineries were functional, tankers in the country would have no business coming to Lagos to lift fuel as the refineries in Port-Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna would have taken care of that, adding that the current road network in Nigeria is seemingly inadequate for the operations of trucks and tankers.
The senate solemnly observed a minute silence in honour of the victims of the Fuel Tanker tragedies in Lagos and Onitsha respectively.
The senate further resolved to call on the Federal Government to continue the process of revamping the rail system to ease the pressure on Nigerian roads, to revamp existing refineries and create room for the establishment of private refineries. It was also resolved that the matter would be referred to the relevant senate standing committees when established.
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