RECENTLY, the Senate
President, Dr. Abubakar
Bukola Saraki, inaugurated
Joint Technical Committee
on Transport Sector Reform
Bills in order to ensure
that critical economic bills
pending before the upper
legislative chamber get
necessary technical input
from industry players to
make for efficiency and
effectiveness when passed.
They included the Railway
Bill to reform the rail systems;
the Ports and Harbour Bill for
the efficient running of the
ports; the National Transport
Commission Bill to serve
as the sector’s regulatory
body; the National Inland
Waterways Bill to develop
the inland waterways
transport system; the Federal
Roads Fund Bill to ensure
efficient maintenance of the
federal road network; and
the Federal Roads Authority
Bill to manage the nation’s
federal roads respectively.
According to Saraki, the
Senate has made the passage
of the various transport
sector infrastructure bills,
a critical aspect of its
legislative agenda. He said
raising the committee of
experts became necessary
to use their technical
knowledge to enrich and
assist the work of the various
Senate Committees to ensure
that there is regulatory
alignment across the entire
regulatory arrangements in
the transport sector.
The senate president listed
members of the committee as
Dr. Sam Amadi – Chairman;

Mr. Nnanna Ude, Mr. Philip
Asante, Engr. Olusegun
Toluhi, Mr. Kingsley Amaku,
Mr. Akin Ajibola, Mr. Kayode
Khalidson, Dr. Tayo Aduloju,
Dr. Joyce Wigwe, Mr. Rowland
Ataguba, Mr. Sotonye Etomi
and Mr. Sam Aiboni.
It is a fact that the existing
national transport policy
document was introduced
in 1993 when government
discovered that there was crisis
in the sector. “At present, the
Nigerian transport system
functions in a crisis situation”,
the policy states and identified
“a major imbalance between
the needs of Nigerian society

and economy for adequate
transport facilities and the
ability of the transport sector
to meet such demands”, as one
of the principal causes.
This, of course cannot be
said to have gone as transport
system in the country is still
in a very difficult situation
that needs urgent remedies.
The imbalance in supply
and demand for transport
capacity overall, and in the
development of the different
modes of transport, has in fact
increased over the period since
1993.
Though succeeding
administrations have made

tremendous efforts to improve
the situation and make it
function, continued high
demand for transport services
in the country seems to exceed
the supply.
For example, the federal
government under former
President Goodluck Jonathan
had in February 2015 proposed
new reforms to the transport
sector by giving legal basis
for the establishment of new
agencies and the general
administration of the sector.
This follows the approval of
eight draft bills by the Federal
Executive Council, FEC to
make the transport sector
reforms private sector driven.
The draft bills, which are
expected to be forwarded to
the National Assembly for
passage, are the National
Transport Commission Bill
(2015); National Roads Fund
Bill; and the Federal Roads
Authority Bill. Others are
Nigeria Ports and Harbour
Authority Bill (2015); National
Inland Waterways Authority
Bill (2015); and Nigeria Railway
Authority Bill (2015) as well as
the Federal Competition and
Consumer Protection Bill.
The national transport
document of 1993 contains the
policy statements, objectives
and possible implementation
strategies. It has been revised
twice since then, and the
current version is awaiting
legislation.
The policy covers all modes,
but it is not clear whether it
should supersede all other
existing transport related
policy statements, for example,
the ones on aviation, and on
a separate shipping policy
associated with the National

Maritime Authority and
Safety Agency, NIMASA.
But according to the
policy document, the
transport sector would take
advantage of the private
sector initiative to improve
efficiency of operatives and
management of transport
parastatals; achieve the
desired reduction in the
cost of providing transport
services; facilitate further
development in the nation’s
transport infrastructure;
eliminate congestion both in
the intercity and intra-city
traffic flows; and encourage
the emergence of Nigeria as
a transport hub for West and
Central Africa Sub-region.
This may have been the
reason why the senate
president charged members
of the Joint Technical
Committee on Transport
Sector Reform Bills to ensure
rapid effectiveness and
efficiency in the sector. “Your
work therefore, is to ensure
the integrity of the entire
system; the efficiency and
legal integrity of the various
transport bills enumerated
above to enable the Senate
reduce areas of conflict,
inefficiency, unnecessary
regulatory burden and
ensure the achievement of
the overarching objective
of reducing cost of doing
business and increasing the
ease of doing business for
our SMEs”, he said.
Saraki added: “Your work
today, is very critical and
will help ensure that our
decisions on these bills are
grounded in knowledge and
field experience vital for the
success of the objectives of
the laws as these bills will not
only serve this generation
effectively but many more
generations to come”.
The senate president
noted that the 8th National
Assembly is not unaware of

Cont’d 18


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