Road safety: Total Nigeria trains 2,181 truck drivers in 4 years

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Total Nigeria Plc says it has trained 2,181 petroleum truck drivers to enhance safety on roads and smooth distribution of products across the country in the last four years.

The oil firm said on Thursday that it also audited 2,740 trucks used for conveying petroleum products within the same period to ensure their road worthiness.

Mr Eghosa Okhuanesogie, the Product Transport Safety Manager, Total Nigeria Plc, made the disclosure in a virtual media engagement on “Total Nigeria Truck Plc Driver’s Initiative’’.

Okhuanesogie said the training and audit were conducted at Total Nigeria Drivers Training Centre in Ibadan from 2017 to 2020.

According to him, statistics by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) reveals that more than 1,200 trucks are loaded daily with petroleum products across Nigeria which makes it imperative for drivers to be properly trained.

Okhuanesogie noted that trucks belonging to Total Nigeria and its transporters had recorded zero fatalities since inception of the mandatory training and audit.

“The three-day training is done every two years. The lectures are translated to Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa and drivers are given a pocket safety handbook as well as information booklet to educate them on what and what not to do while on the road,’’ he said.

According to him, Total Nigeria also organises an annual drivers competition which sees three winners each emerging from the North, East and West regions of the country with winners rewarded with cash and gifts.

He said an overall winner wass selected among the nine competitors and also presented with gifts and cash aimed at encouraging drivers to adhere to safety on the road.

Also speaking, Mr Muhyideen Nurudeen, the General Manager, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality, Total Nigeria Plc, said the drivers were being monitored through the installation of On Board Computers and Cameras on their trucks.

According to Nurudeen, drivers are mandated to abide by the prescribed rest hours while the company also has a policy of removing trucks above 10 years old from its operations.

He said Total also had a zero policy for alcohol intake by its drivers and those of its transporters, stressing that tests were usually carried out on them at the loading and discharge points.

On his part, Mr Charles Ebereonwu, Country Communications Manager, Total Nigeria Plc, said the initiative was a welcome development that should be embraced by other stakeholders in the sector.

“In training drivers, we are protecting the road, we are protecting our citizens and protecting the products to ensure they get to their destinations as and when due,’’ he said.