OLUGBENGA SALAMI, in this piece writes on the recent efforts
of the federal government through the National Automotive Council,
NAC, in collaboration with the Nigerian Association of Road Transport
Owners, NARTO to train auto technicians and vulcanisers in all
states of the federation and Abuja, with a view to ending fuel tanker
crashes in the country.

In less than one month, over
100 people have died as a
result of accidents involving
fuel tankers and properties
worth billions of naira have
been destroyed across the
According to a report
recently published by the
Corps Commander of Federal
Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Dr.
Kayode Olagunju, about 4,076
people were killed and 12,994
others injured in accidents
involving fuel tankers and
articulated vehicles popularly
known as trailers between
2007 and 2010.
Since then, there has been
an increase in the number of
fatalities caused by tanker
crashes on the roads. Former
Minister for Health, Professor
Christian Onyebuchi Chukwu,
confirmed that Nigeria has the
second highest road traffic
accident fatalities among the
193 countries of the world.
The recent fire accidents in
Onitsha and Lagos were the
most shocking and fearful to
many Nigerians. For instance,
about 70 people were burnt
to death while several others
sustained various degrees
of injuries following tanker
lorry crash at Asaba Motor
Park, Upper Iweka in Onitsha.
Eleven vehicles, mostly
commuter buses and two
motorcycles inside the Park,
and the fuel tanker were
completely burnt to ashes after
the accident.
Before then, a tanker fully
loaded with diesel crashed
and exploded at Idimu bus
stop of Egbeda, Lagos. This
occurred just days after a
similar accident around the
Iyana-Ipaja bus stop in Lagos,
injuring at least 12 persons
and destroying 30 shops.
South-West spokesperson
of National Emergency
Management Agency, NEMA,
Ibrahim confirmed that a total
of 34 houses and 70 shops and
one tricycle were affected by
the explosion.
Another tanker loaded with
kerosene also crashed recently
at Magbon area of Badagry,
Lagos, spilling all its products.
However, the crash did not
result in an inferno.
It’s against these backdrops
that the National Automotive
Council, NAC in collaboration
with the Nigerian Association
of Road Transport Owners
, NARTO had embarked
on training of 1,069 auto
technicians and vulcanisers
across the 36 states of the
federation and Abuja, the
Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Speaking at the closing
ceremony of one of the training
points on heavy duty trucks
maintenance and tyre repairs
for auto technicians in Abuja,
Director General of NAC,
Engr. Aminu Jalal, said the training would not have come
at a better time as the incessant
accidents caused by heavy duty
trucks has started giving the
country great concern.
Jalal, who was represented
at the occasion by the Director
Industrial Infrastucture of the
council, Mr. Kolapo Odetoro,
also said the training was in
line with the newly approved
National Automotive Industry
Development Plan, NAIDP, one
of which elements is capacity
According to him, 504
technicians were trained on
heavy duty truck maintenance
and tyre repairs, adding that 46
of them were drawn FCT, adding
that the 46 participants from the
Territory were trained in modern
tyre repair, wheel balancing and
He said, “A few years ago, a
skill gap analysis of mechanics
in Nigeria was conducted by the
Council to determine their ability
to repair modern generation
“Regretably, it was discovered
that majority of Nigerian
mechanics lack the skill
and equipment to properly
maintain modern vehicles, in
particular they are deficient in
understanding and repair of
vehicles electrical and electronic
“As a result of this, the Council
began various re-training
programmes for auto mechanics
from 2006 to date and this
training programme is one of
“All our earlier training
programmes were for car
mechanics, this is the first time
we are focusing on commercial
vehicles and tyres. As road
tractors and trucks are the major
means of transporting goods in
Nigeria, this training is therefore
“According to the Federal
Road Safety Corps, the wrong
choice, use and repair of tyres is
one of the major causes of road
“It is therefore hoped that
this training will enable its
participants repair and maintain
tyres properly and advise their
clients on the proper purchase
and use of tyres”, the director
general stressed.
Jalal, therefore, called on the
graduating students to use
their newly acquired skill for
the betterment of the country at
One of the participants, Mr
Jammiu Adesanya, expressed
appreciation to the federal
government and the council
for the initiative. He said the
skills acquired from the training
would further enhance his work
and called for the sustenance
of the programme by the new
However, the government
has promised not to relent in its
efforts to find a lasting solution
to the spate of fuel tanker
Fuel tanker on fire
accidents that have reached
alarming and worrisome rate
in the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
while commiserating with the
government and people of
Anambra State over the fuel
tanker accident in the state,
said President Muhammadu
Buhari was very concerned
and pained by the incident.
Osinbajo told a crowd that
gathered around Upper Iweka,
scene of the accident, that
he had been discussing with
Governor Willie Obiano on
possible ways the federal and
the state government could
cooperate to forestall further
Earlier, while briefing the
vice-president, Obiano said
the state government had
banned long trucks and petrol
tankers from plying roads
in Anambra during the day,
adding that they must transload
their cargoes on getting to
state roads.
According to him, the
materials used in constructing
state roads are not the same
as the ones used in building
federal roads and each time
heavy duty trucks ply state
roads, they cause heavy
damage on them.

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