Stakeholders hinge economic growth on building inter-modal transport system
Industry stakeholders, who took turn to review the state and contributions of Nigeria’s transport system to economic growth, have identified the need for a policy that would enthrone an integrated multi-modal system that would drive the economy.
According to them, Nigeria does not have an integrated policy on transportation and this has resulted in the chaos that have characterised the nation’s transport system as well as the failure of the system to meet the needed demand.
Speaking at the inaugural Transport Leadership Lecture themed ‘Driving Change with Leadership in Transport Industry,’ organised by Kings Communications Limited., David Adamu Baike, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, noted that a well organised transport system could be the life-wire of the country, as experienced in Ethiopia.
Lamenting that Nigeria with its diverse endowments in transportation facilities has the most disorganised system, he stated that the nation’s transport industry requires a committed leadership that will be prepared to make sacrifices that can lift the industry.
“No one has been held accountable for the demise of the Nigeria Railways, Nigeria Airways and the prestigious National Shipping Lines that used to ply between Lagos, Southampton and Liverpool.
Baikie further drew the federal government attention to the National Conference report for action. The Confab, he states, recommends the establishment of a policy formulating body like the National Transportation Commission (NTC) to handle; create independent economic and safety regulation department for the sector; promote economic development, expand trade and improve Nigeria’s competitiveness through an efficient and affordable integrated transport network; increase private sector involvement in the provision, maintenance, operation and upgrading of transport infrastructure.
Baike pointed out the need to develop transport infrastructure that ensures environmental sustainability and international acceptability.
“There is a great future for the transportation industry in Nigeria. There is the land mass, our population is increasing in leaps and bounds, our waterways are lying fallow waiting to be put into good economic use, people and agriculture products are waiting to be moved from one end to the other, all that is required is for us to have the blueprint on transport in place and provide the wherewithal that would drive the change agenda. But as of now, our transport industry is pedestrian and needs to be widened”, he said.
Emeka Akabogu charged the transport minister to define Nigeria’s transport policy, have operational standards and ensure that the agencies under the ministry deliver on their roles in order to develop and grow the sector.
He further called on the Transport Ministry to pursue the passage of relevant bills currently at the National Assembly, which delay affect, the growth of the sector.
Olayiwora Shittu, president of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), who stated that the problem of the sector is that recommendations made by experts are usually not implemented, also called on the Minister to set up a Committee that will harmonise all the recommendations made in the past for the development of the sector.
Kunle Folarin, chairman, Ports Consultative Council (PCC), who affirms that Nigeria needs an integrated transport system to support its economic agenda, proposed a realignment of the transportation sector in line with a national transport policy.
The event Convenor, Kingsley Anaroke, said the draft policy on transportation had been abandoned since 2003, therefore leaving the industry without a clear-cut direction to follow. He urged the transport minister to raise and work with technical committees that have the wherewithal to address the issues plaguing the industry.
Big Read |