On Wednesday, the House of Representatives demanded immediate repairs to the deteriorated Benin-Warri highway, which was responsible for the recent fuel tanker explosion at Koko Junction in Delta state, resulting in the loss of more than 20 lives.
This call for action came after Hon Thomas Ereyitomi presented a motion of urgent public importance during a session in Abuja.
Ereyitomi expressed his concern about the tragic incident that occurred on October 1, 2023, where a tanker carrying Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) exploded at Koko Junction along the Warri-Benin highway in Delta State, leading to the loss of over 20 lives, including children and women.
He also highlighted the injuries sustained by several individuals and the destruction of 16 vehicles and 3 motorcycles due to the fire.
Furthermore, Ereyitomi pointed out that this unfortunate event exacerbates the hardships faced by road users who were already dealing with significant traffic jams caused by the deplorable condition of the road, resulting in journeys that should take no more than 45 minutes lasting for days.
“Disturbed that Warri-Benin highway is plagued by significant number of accidents each year, often involving tankers and other heavy duty vehicles which topple over as drivers maneuver failed portions of the road.
“Distressed that with the accident, commuters and motorists will become more exposed to attacks by hoodlums/miscreants who take advantage of such situations to wreck havoc.
“The failed portions of this road has become a death trap for users of the road with little or no remedial efforts from any quarter over a period of time to pose this kind of danger.
Therefore, the House paid its respects with a moment of silence to honor the individuals who lost their lives in the tragic incident. Additionally, they called upon the National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development to promptly provide relief materials to those affected by the disaster and cover the medical expenses of the hospitalized victims.
The House also encouraged the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to expedite efforts in rehabilitating the Warri-Benin highway and other federal roads across the nation, aiming to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Furthermore, the House mandated its Committees on Emergency and Disaster Management, Works, and Legislative Compliance to ensure that these directives are followed.
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