Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi and Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II yesterday called for policy and strategies to develop Nigeria’s transportation sector, with a view to serving as catalyst for national development.
The duo spoke at the opening of a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on ‘Road Transportation Management and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria.’
For his part, Amaechi who lament the lack of a functional transportation system in the country, noted that “we cannot be indifferent in the face of existing inefficiencies that characterise our road transportation system.”
Pointing out that the trend is taking its toll on the business potentials of the country, Amaechi said while many investors think of coming to Nigeria, they also think of the traffic congestions in commercial centres like Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano, Enugu as well as Abuja.
According to him, “The time is ripe to have a cost effective road transport model that satisfies the aspiration of the citizens, enhance investors’ confidence and promotes tourism.”
In this vein, the minister charged the workshop participants on redefining the mass transit operations in Nigeria, giving priority to a private sector driven systems, with clear managerial and regulatory framework, short, medium and long term strategies and interventions needed to address the enormous challenges in the road transport management and mass transit sub-sector.
He also advocated appropriate mechanism for adequate attention to non-motorised transport (cycling) and walking, especially for urban residents, in policy, budgeting and citizens/stakeholders to buy in, as well as harmony of operations between road transport and safety regulators and enforcement agencies to forestall working at cross purposes.
Besides, Alhaji Sanusi emphasised that in the face of declining revenues, it was “important for government to know that it needs the private sector” to bridge funding gap in its quest to put in place standard road infrastructure across the country.
He recalled experts figure that for instance, N500 billion is required annually to meet the demand of adequate road network, but sadly, the Ministry of Transportation’s budget for 2016 is just a little over N200 billion.
Judging from his experience as a monarch who often has to visit rural communities in the discharge of his duties, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said that apart from the negative impacts of poor road infrastructure to doing business in Nigeria, the challenge was hindering access to education, healthcare amongst others.
“Access to transportation impact on girl-child education, it impact on the health of the rural mother, it impacts on other social services that are not directly link with economic issues,” the he noted.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, in a vote of appreciation commended RTEAN, NURTW, NUPENG, LAFARGE, other partners and stakeholders for their support to organise the event which ends today.

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