By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Over 2,000 trucks worth $150 million have been acquired by Dangote Cement Plc to aid the smooth distribution of its products across Nigeria.
The heavy-duty vehicles trucks purchased by the leading cement maker included trailers, bulk tankers, tippers, cargo trucks and bulk cement tankers.
Dangote Cement is optimistic that these assets would address challenges related to the ease of distribution and availability of cement across the country, especially among its value-chain service providers and create employment of over 4,000 people in the country.
In addition, the newly acquired trucks are expected to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Dangote Cement Logistics network of distribution nationwide, as the company plans to commission its new cement plant in Okpella Edo State in a few weeks.
Besides, Dangote Fertiliser, which recently made a grand entry into the market, has already taken delivery of 500 trucks from Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Limited (a joint venture between Dangote Industries Limited and Sinotruk China) for the distribution of Urea to different States in Nigeria.
“We have acquired the new trucks in line with our new expansion capacity in Obajana, Ibese, Gboko and the new cement plant at Okpella.
“The acquisition is due to the growing needs of the business, especially as regards the increased trucking demands encountered lately, due to the surge in the demand for cement,” the Group Executive Director in charge of Logistics and Distribution at Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Abdu Dantata, stated.
“The establishment of our clinker export terminals at Apapa and Onne Port led to the purchase of heavy-duty tippers for haulage of clinker from the plants to the terminals.
“The introduction of these trucks would improve customers’ demand, improve on job creation in the country, as well as promote the economic development of Nigeria,” he added.
Mr Dantata disclosed that the company takes seriously the issue of safety of truck drivers and road users, which necessitated the collaboration between the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the company to attain zero tolerance to road crashes in the country. He said the company has embarked on adequate training on effective driving techniques.
According to him, the collaboration involves recertification of drivers, pre-trip and post-trip inspection, drug test, real-time tracking of vehicles, root cause analysis, convoy movement, checkpoint policy and sanctions among several others.
The locally assembled Sinotruk Howo trucks came in as semi-knocked-down kits (SKD), which were effectively assembled and commissioned for operations.
Mr Dantata, who coordinates the group Logistic and Transport function, assured that the Dangote Sinotruk would continue the importation of semi-knocked-down kits into the assembling plant to support customers’ demand and improve on job creation in the country.
Oyo to Restrict Movement of Trailers, Trucks to 9pm to 6am
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
There are plans to begin to restrict the movement of trailers, trucks and long vehicles plying certain roads in Oyo State to night only.
This move is to manage smooth commuting, dissipate gridlock and decongest traffic in the state, according to the Special Adviser on Project and Infrastructure, Engr. Seyi Adeleye.
“The decision became necessary so as to curb traffic and fatalities caused by articulated vehicles on roads in the state,” the aide said when he addressed newsmen after a meeting of the State Public Works and Transport Infrastructure Development Committee in Ibadan, the state capital.
Mr Adeleye said to protect citizens, the state will start implementing the restriction and may be pegged from 9:00pm to 6:00am.
He said the Oyo State government is set to draft and implement a new transport policy to make transit easier and less clumsy.
The Special Adviser revealed that the committee has begun working on ways to implement restrictions on trucks and long vehicles to nighttime operations and dedicated routes in the state.
“The transport policy will include night sailing plans for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, journey management, junction improvement among others to decongest roads during rush hours.
“We have to make plans to both solve the existing traffic gridlocks, and make plans for the impending gridlock that could arise from the economic expansion that the inland dry port will bring as there will be the loading of trucks from the port, and they will need to move to their destination,” Mr Adeleye said.
“We will also design plans that are applicable to our environment as what works in other climes may not work here, so we will come up with solutions that will directly and positively affect our situation,” he added.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority, Mr Mogaji Akin Fagbemi, said the Agency will also see to the birth of a post-crash care policy that will enhance first aid while also ensuring quick access to health facilities in case of fatalities.
He applauded the planned implementation of the restriction, saying that such would ease the stress of OYRTMA officials towing vehicles and end the era of unnecessary violence by some of the drivers.
He said the agency will also ensure that traffic is coordinated in internal roads where there is rarely the presence of personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state.
Mr Fagbemi added that the restriction is part of the government’s efforts to curb consistent road crashes attributed to operations of long vehicles on the road.
The committee is made up of stakeholders from all ministries and agencies that are directly involved in road activities, first aid and traffic management.
FRSC, LASTMA Applaud JCI Ikeja’s Safe Driving Campaign
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have applauded the Ikeja Local Organisation of Junior Chamber International (JCI) for its safe driving campaign.
The group recently sensitised some transporters under the aegis of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ikeja branch, on the global best practices of using the roads.
“Once a message of sensitization of this nature is sent out with a continuous reminder, there would be a change of attitude,” the Unit Head of Special Marshals of the FRSC, Ojota Unit Command, Mr Ande Apollo, stated.
Mr Apollo noted that the defensive driving campaign organized by the JCI Ikeja goes a long way, saying that speaking with members of the NURTW will bring more knowledge to them on how to maintain their cars and use the road.
“They would be more conscious and more self-aware of their safety and the safety of other road users. It is believed that most people who use the road are commercial drivers.
“Programs like this will give commercial drivers a rethink on reasons why they should obey road traffic regulations to ensure road safety,” Mr Appollo explained.
Also speaking during the sensitization program, the Grand Chairman, Ikeja branch of NURTW, Comrade Isiaka Apena, applauded the initiative of JCI Ikeja.
Mr Apena said that the seminar is good and very important to them, saying that it should be frequent for them can keep enlightening their drivers on how and why they should obey road traffic rules for the safety of their lives and other road users and ensure road safety.
He then called on the government at different levels to support them alleviate the challenges they are going through.
Mr Apena also said that there should be assistance from the government to the transport sector, especially NURTW, pointed out that the vehicle they are using is bad, and there should be a form of assistance from the government to subsidies; probably to collect their old vehicles and get them new vehicles and they pay in instalment.
“Government should do something to assist the drivers because it is a means of income for the drivers and this would make transportation better.
“The government should render financial assistance to the transport sector at least to aid the purchase of the new vehicles,” Mr Apena begged.
Explaining why the campaign was organised, the President of JCI Ikeja, Ms Tricia Inalu, explained that the need to inform public transport drivers on the best ways to use the roads and to reduce the road the accident that happen on daily basis influenced the event.
She quoted a report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which said between 2013 and 2019, over 5000 deaths were recorded annually.
“In February this year, a Vanguard report stated that an average of 4 persons dies every 6 hours, an average of 15 persons die daily, and in a month, over 400 people die.
“These figures are alarming, these are people who are breadwinners, who have dependents and this affects the family, the home front and even our economy,” Ms Inalu explained.
“As a leadership organization that JCI is, we look out for problems and opportunities where we can promote development and create value for our communities.
“This has become very necessary as we have realised that we cannot leave this to the government because we are the government, we are the ones that can talk to ourselves to do things right and that is why we are on this sensitization campaign,” she said.
Bolt Introduces Interest-Free Vehicle Financing Scheme
By Dipo Olowookere
A vehicle financing scheme that will enable drivers in Nigeria to own a car with low equity repayment for about four years with no interest has been introduced by Africa’s leading ride-hailing platform, Bolt.
The vehicle financing programme was made possible through Bolt’s operative verification of driver identities and extensive data on driver activities in partnership with Sterling Bank’s Alternative Finance.
The initiative will provide a better alternative for drivers who currently lease a car via the hire-purchase or rental model to drive on the Bolt platform.
A statement from the firm described this first-of-its-kind offering in Nigeria as part of its commitment to improving earnings for drivers while allowing them to maintain flexibility as vehicle owners.
“This initiative reiterates our continued commitment to helping our drivers earn more as our partners in moving Nigeria,” Bolt Country Manager, Mr Femi Akin-Laguda, was quoted as saying.
Business Post reports that in the pilot phase, existing Bolt drivers who meet specific performance benchmarks while driving with Bolt will be prioritised for vehicle financing.
These drivers will be able to enjoy upfront equity contributions as low as a 15 per cent mark-up and minimum weekly-instalment payments.
Other benefits from the plan may include a monthly fuel card, comprehensive insurance and vehicle tracking for new and pre-owned cars with a three to a four-year repayment plan.
“Our drivers are vital to our business operations, and improving the earnings of every driver is fundamental to keeping the trust and loyalty that we have earned over the last couple of years,” Mr Akin-Laguda stated.
“As we expand our presence into more cities across the country, it is important to provide solutions that ensure working with Bolt is more flexible and profitable for drivers, which inherently improves the overall experience for our riders as well.
“More importantly, the vehicle financing programme will enable drivers to earn at their own pace either driving full time or part-time,” he added.
On her part, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Sterling Bank, Ms Temiloluwa Desalu, said, “We are very excited to be partnering with Africa’s leading ride-hailing platform, Bolt, to bring this service to their drivers, and we are confident of a long-lasting and truly rewarding alliance.”
“At Sterling Alternative Finance, we understand that Nigeria is a predominantly cash-centric society; this sometimes cripples the purchasing power of the average Nigerian and in effect can have a negative impact on our economy.
“Our mission is to improve the quality of life of Nigerians by providing a more sustainable, flexible, and convenient way to own vehicles.
“Through the Alt drive platform, Nigerians can now purchase new or pre-owned vehicles and pay steadily over a convenient number of years at no interest,” she added.
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