For their strict compliance to rules and regulations governing road usage, the Dangote Cement Plc, Transport division, has quadrupled the enrolment of female truck drivers into the Dangote Articulated Truck Driving School, just as the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) gave Dangote Cement Plc a thumbs-up over the establishment of the school. The Dangote Articulated Truck Driving School, Obajana, Kogi State is considered unique, being the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria’s transport sector as the foremost Cement company inculcates the culture of safe driving among its drivers and other third party drivers. To this extent, the academy has enrolled 50 fresh trainee drivers, of which 10 are female trainees who are partaking in the 2023 Batch A session, Divisional Director Transport, Mr. Ajay Singh, has said. Mr. Singh said the intensive training is being conducted in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Fantique Driving Training Centre of South Africa.
According to him, experience has shown that female drivers are more careful, and have carted away most of the awards while emerging best in the past assessment conducted by the company. Speaking also, the school manager, Mr. Daniel Marcus Akuso, added that some of the courses taught in the school include: Civic Education, English, Mathematics, Defensive Driving, Truck Handling, Maintenance Technology, DCT Administration Procedures, Root Cause Analysis, Health and Science, Road Signs and Codes. In his remark, 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 certifying old drivers and newly recruited trainees. “We teach them defensive driving, road signs, responsibilities of the driver, driving culture, and then certify them,” Engr. Umar said.
Speaking, Oshile Victoria, 30, a female trainee and a graduate of Economics said she considered herself very lucky to have been selected to participate in the programme. Another 35-year-old trainee from Katsina State said it’s a dream come true. In the same vein, Fatima Haruna Adamu, 27, who had wanted to join the army, said the driving school has helped fulfil her dream: “I believe what a man can do, a woman can do too.”
The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Professor Idris Bugaje commended Dangote Cement for the initiative to set up the Articulated Trucks Driving School, saying it would help in ensuring safe driving on the road.
He also disclosed that the NBTE was partnering the Dangote Cement Plc in the execution of the school’s programme in an attempt to foster collaboration for the good for the society. It will be recalled that Dangote Cement has been partnering the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in some areas relating to practical training and lectures on safe driving in all of its cement plants with special programmes involving road shows to sensitise drivers, Okada riders and other road users in their immediate communities on how to use the road safely to avoid accident.