Against the backdrop of recent accidents involving fuel tankers, the Department of Petroleum Resources said on Thursday that it would put an end to the loading and distribution of more than 33,000 litres by road tankers.
The DPR and other stakeholders, including the Federal Road Safety Corps, expressed concerns over the growing menace of tanker incidents in the country.
The Lagos Zonal Operations Controller, DPR, Mr Wole Akinyosoye, said at the zone’s 2019 Annual General Meeting in Lagos that the agency would enforce the maximum limit of 33,000 litres.
He noted that the pipelines built for the transportation of petroleum products had become inadequate and their integrity compromised, adding that products were mostly being transported from Lagos to different parts of the country.
He said, “Many of the roads were constructed to have maximum carrying capacity of 30 tonnes (about 33,000 litres). The Nigerian law only allows for 33,000 litres to be loaded out of the depots. Today, we have 60,000 litres, 45,000 litres and sometimes 90,000 litres loaded out of the depots.
“We admit that the DPR is culpable in these circumstances. But the department has taken a decision because of what has been happening in the last two to three months that we have to enforce the maximum limit, which is 33,000 litres, on our roads.”
The acting Director, DPR, Mr Ahmed Shakur, said the agency was taking proactive steps to find lasting solutions to the challenges of safe and efficient road distribution of petroleum products.
“We are liaising with relevant government agencies including the FRSC, federal and state fire service departments and relevant associations on solutions, including scheduling of tanker truck movement, provision of fast and efficient towing services,” he said.
The Lagos Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Hyginus Omeje, said there were 302 tanker crashes in 2018, adding, “We have already surpassed that figure this year.”