The Truck Transit Parks [TTP] project planned by the Nigeria Shippers’ Council [NSC] is estimated to cost N4.8 billion. Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi said at NSC’s breakfast meeting in Lagos recently that the Truck Transit Parks are to be located in eight places around the country.
He also said Six Inland Container Depots (ICD) are to be built to alleviate the chaotic situation currently being experienced at the country’s seaports.
Amaechi said, “TTPs have worked in the advanced countries and will also work in Nigeria because we are going to follow international standards.” On the benefits of the TTPs, executive secretary of Nigeria Shippers Council Malam Hassan Bello said:
“Investment benefits of TTP include guaranteed returns on investment for the investor, investors will have the benefit of managing an industrial and logistics hub with numerous incentives.” We believe that this is good for the country and the easiest thing to do.
It’s a low hanging fruit that can easily be fetched and employed to expand our economy, create jobs and give comfort to drivers. Such parks will also relieve long distance truck, trailer and tanker drivers of the stress which is a big factor in the road accidents that we witness on our highways.
NSC said the TTP projects being pursued across the country on a Public Private Partnership are in line with the Federal Government’s policy of addressing the infrastructure deficit in the country, provide short-term resting place for truck drivers on long distance travels and reduce loss to life and cargo caused by accidents arising from fatigue.
Truck Transit Park is a public rest area located off the road, designed to provide temporary rest location for truck drivers. It is primarily intended for short-term breaks and also long-term parking services where truck drivers can get fuel, food, restrooms, shower and basic supplies like oil and spare parts as well as servicing and repairs of haulage vehicles. Each TTP will have a gas station, hotel and motel, restaurants, mechanic workshop, fire station, police post and automated cargo tracking system.
Other anticipated benefits of TTP include promoting safety and security of cargoes and haulage vehicles while in transit, reducing pilferage and theft of cargoes in transit, affording cargo owners the means to monitor movement of their cargoes through a cargo tracking system, and improving transit and trade with landlocked neighbouring countries.
NSC has already conducted feasibility studies for their establishment of Truck Transit Parks in Lokoja, Obollo-Afor [Enugu State], Jebba, Ore [Ondo State], Ogere [Ogun State], Porto Novo Creek [Lagos State], Onitsha and Mararaban Jos, Kaduna State. NSC has also invited prospective investors wishing to develop TTPs apply to it.
NSC and the Transportation Minister should however know that many Nigerians are wary of this initiative because the government’s record in delivering on such nice sounding projects is quite poor. Quite frequently Nigerians have been left holding the short end of the stick.
Projects and programs that easily work in other countries often become nuclear science when we attempt to do them in Nigeria. Since this initiative is a public-private partnership arrangement we expect it to produce better results than projects that are entirely public sector. However, many PPP projects have also failed to materialise in Nigeria.
Yet, we hope that this project would be different. It’s already a disgrace that we don’t have such parks in a 21st Century Nigeria when many countries have even forgotten that they used to have such a problem. We have high hopes that Transportation Minister Amaechi and NSC’s executive secretary will buck the trend and deliver on this project as soon as possible.