By Aisar Fagge
The Dangote Articulated Truck Driving School has graduated 50 Special Truck Drivers on weekend.
It was gathered that ten of the drivers were women and trained on Defensive Driving for three months.
A statement signed by the spokesman of the Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, and made available to journalists on Monday, disclosed.
The statement qouted Mr. Ajay Singh, the Divisional Director of the Dangote Cement Plc, Transport section, Obajana Plant, Kogi State, to have said that the Articulated Driving School was aimed at taming the tide of auto crash in Nigeria.
Singh who spoke during the graduation ceremony added that “The company has a zero tolerance for auto crash, which informed the setting up of different programmes, in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
“Head of Human Resources, Mr. Azeez Adeniyi said the Dangote Articulated Truck Driving School, is unique, being the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria,” he stated.
The statement further added that “He (Singh) urged the graduates to maximize the advantages from the training, adding that it was a rare and golden opportunity to have passed through the school.
“The school manager, Mr. Daniel Marcus Akuso, said some of the courses offered for the Batch A include: Civic Education, English, Mathematics, Defensive Driving, Truck Handling, Maintenance Technology, DCT Administration Procedures, Root Cause Analysis, Health and Science, Road Signs and Codes.
“Mr. Akuso said the graduates will now undertake a six-month attachment to enable them to acquire practical experience.
“Speaking, Deputy Road Commandant, (OC Instructor) of the FRSC attached to Dangote Driving School, Engr Mukhtar Umar said his agency plays a significant role in the training and certification of old drivers and newly recruited trainees.
“We teach them defensive driving, road signs, responsibilities of the driver, driving culture, and then certify them. These are Special Drivers,” Engr Umar said.
“Representative of Fantique Driving Centre, South Africa, Mr. Jacques Van Heerden, said the graduates were trained on defensive driving, assuring that if they abide by the lessons learned from the courses, it will help Nigeria in reducing the menace of auto crash.
“On his part, Col Ravig Kumar, Chief General Manager, Maintenance Department, expressed optimism that the female drivers, especially, will make Nigeria proud, while urging them not to disappoint the company, wherever they may find themselves.
“Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Mr. Ajayi Kehinde Daniel, said: “We are not just drivers, but defensive drivers. Throughout this period of training, we have been exposed to the causes of road accidents, and how to avoid them. Some of these causes, if not all, are actually avoidable.”
“Also present at the Graduation Ceremony were: Head of Department, Post Trip Inspection(PTI), Mr. Charles Theophilus, Head of Control, Mr. Suresh Ramamoorthy, Col Hemant Rana, as well as other members of the Fantique Training Centre of South Africa: Pieter Momberg and Anton Schenk,” the statement added.