Engr. Izuwa, ag DG, ICRC

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission ICRC for the adoption of the South African model in the funding of the Truck Transit Parks TTPs project under a Public-Private Partnership PPP.

The TTPs, a brainchild of the Nigerian Shippers Council and promoted by the Federal Ministry of Transport, is a place, equipped with some facilities and services where truck drivers congregate while on transit in the course of moving cargo from one point to the other.

Some of the facilities include but not limited to hotels and other recreational places, clinics, barber shops and other related places where truck drivers could make a stop for a time before continuing on their journey to avoid fatigue that could lead to accidents.

Acting Director General of the commission, Engr. Chidi Inuwah, who spoke recently, insists that the PPP model remains the best funding option for the TTP project under which the private sector provides the funds and also runs the parks while the government provides the regulatory framework.

He however observed that in choosing the PPP model, the Federal Government should adopt South Africa’s system, which involved the parliament passing a legislation that regulates the establishment, funding and management of the transit parks.

According to him, the legislation should also make it mandatory for trucks and other articulated vehicles operating in the country to make a stop at any of the TTPs after travelling a specified period of time not exceeding five or six hours at a stretch to rest to avoid fatigue.

The ICRC-boss also adopted the concession model in involving the private sector in the establishment and management of the parks while the government through its designated agencies provide the regulatory framework for the day-day running of the facilities.

“Nigeria should adopt the South Africa’s model of PPP in the establishment and running of the transit parks and this requires a legislation which makes it compulsory for truck drivers to stop at the next park nearest to them after a certain number of hours of continuous driving”.

“The Federal Government should also as a matter of necessity think along the line of concession option in involving the private sector. This is because concession is the only PPP option that can work”, he said.

He listed some of the advantages of involving private sector operators in the establishment and management of the truck parks to include the parks must conform to the PPP plan as well as the provision of the ICRC Act.

There are also four steps towards implementing the PPP model under a concession system, which include the development stage, the procurement process stage, the implementation and the preparation of a bankable business case.

Izuwah described the idea of setting up the TTPs was thoughtful of the council, arguing that the nation’s roads are littered with trucks, which makes them chaotic with attendant rampant cases of avoidable accidents.

It was further gathered that this development was further made worse by the fact that regulation has been very expensive, as government had to establish a plethora of regulatory agencies, which have not been able to adequately address the high incidence of road crashes which have claimed several lives as well as loss of valuable goods.