In furtherance of its commitment to safety in all its operations, Lafarge Africa Plc, is investing over ₦132m to train hundreds of truck drivers in Nigeria. The first batch of 200 drivers will be part of a three-year strategic training plan for 600 drivers. This initiative is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Bruno Hounkpati, Director Logistics at Lafarge Africa Plc, said: “The primary aim of our Driving Institute is to model drivers’ behavior from the onset while equipping them with adequate training for truck driving. The school will ensure skilled drivers with safe driving skills that contribute to safer roads in Nigeria. It will promote professionalism among truck driver sand also create jobs with our third party transport companies.”
Road transportation account for 90% of freight and passenger movement in Nigeria and heavy good vehicles (trucks/trailers/articulated vehicles) are the dominant means of haulage.
Most Nigerian truck drivers graduate from motor mates with inadequate and structured training. The lack of well-trained drivers hampers on fleet utilization, safe driving behaviors, productivity and employment opportunities.
In 2016, commercial vehicles accounted for 53.8% of transportation in Nigeria, according to data compiled by the Federal Roads Safety Corp (FRSC). The data also shows that 8,876 commercial vehicles were involved in road accidents.
Osaze Aghatise, the head of the driving school, said: One major way to reduce road related incidents and achieve our goal of Zero harm is to raise the standard of driver training in our operation and ensure drivers think about safety first and always while on the road..This requires the right training and coaching to understand the risks involved in performing a task, to shape behaviors and to develop safety processes.
The school is in partnership with Transport Services Limited, a fleet management company, and the FRSC.
Selected trainees will go through an initial rigorous screening, thorough in-classroom training, state of the art driving simulator and on the road coaching and assessment. Lafarge has carefully selected the instructors with strong local and international experience and certification to ensure trainees are taken through the highest standard of driver training. Going forward, Lafarge contractors will only use drivers from the school.