Total Nigeria Plc on Monday attributed accidents caused by oil tankers’ in Nigeria to illiteracy among tanker drivers, ageing equipment, substandard tank construction and low quality of road infrastructure.
Total’s Management System for Transport Manager, Ajibola Alaga, made the assertion when members of the Major Oil Marketers’ Association of Nigeria visited the Total Truck Drivers’ Training School and Inspection Centre in Ibadan.
Alaga said that in aggregate terms, 120 major tankers accidents had been recorded since 2014, comprising 94 rollovers, 16 collisions and 10 fires.
While on a tour of the school’s facilities, the manager said the oil firm and other MOMAN members understood the sensitivity of transporting petroleum products across the country in tankers.
He said the company was committed to bringing on board global best practices in ensuring safety of lives, property and the environment.
He said: “Twenty-five per cent of tanker accidents on Nigerian roads are as a result of errors from other road users, while 21 per cent of the accidents are linked to drivers of the trucks.
“Mechanical default in the vehicle constitute 18 per cent of accidents, speeding 16 per cent, fatigue- eight per cent and the environment – eight per cent.
“Dangerous overtaking constitute three per cent and security issues one per cent.”
On the major risk factors in petroleum products distribution via road networks, Alaga said: “The behaviour of drivers largely because of an over 90 per cent dearth in training is one factor”.
He added: “Others are aged equipment; substandard equipment like truck heads; substandard tank construction of manholes, valves, among others.
“Low quality of infrastructure like roads, corridors, road signs, among others are areas we have identified.”
Alaga said that the second phase of the training school, which is the Track Centre, was underway, adding that construction work had commenced.
He said that Total Nigeria had installed two high-tech driving simulators at its Truck Drivers Training School and Inspection Centre in Ibadan and its Head Office in Lagos.
The manager said that this was to enhance the skill of drivers and promote safe haulage of petroleum products across the country.
He said: “These moves are part of its commitment to improving road safety with the broad objective to replicate and model real-life driving conditions.
“This will aid the building of safe driving practices and culture amongst truck drivers in the country.
“The simulators will serve as active training tools to prepare drivers for the management of unpredictable hazards that may occur while driving, such as collision avoidance.”