By Lucy Ogalue
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday, reiterated the importance of transportation in the economic development of the country.
Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said this at the 3rd Annual National Transport Summit of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) in Abuja.
The theme of the event is ”Regulating the Transport Sector in Nigeria:The State of the Art and the Years Ahead”.
“There cannot be economic development without transportation.
“Transportation cannot serve its purpose unless it is available in a safe, affordable and secure environment.
“The theme and the sub-themes of the summit are in tune with government thinking and actions, as can be seen in the massive transport infrastructure developments in the rail, road, maritime and air subsectors.
“As an indication of the seriousness with which this government takes transportation as the sector for driving our economic agenda, we enunciated some creative policy initiatives for funding critical projects in the sector,” Osinbajo said.
While reiterating projects by the government in the sector, Osinbajo said the country could be a hub for West and Central African countries based on its location.
He noted that government’s investmemt in the sector was aimed at achieving this potential transport hub status.
According to the vice president, Nigeria can be truly great if every institution plays its part well.
He urged the institute to ensure it produced transport professionals that would drive the economy from the point of view of transport and logistics.
“Therefore government will look up to your Institute for guidance in policy formulation and implementation.
“The impressive attendance at this summit and the quality of attendees show that your Institute is well prepared for this role.
“In all of these, government will play its part by providing the enabling environment, while the private sector should play its part by mobilising the necessary funds and personnel.
“Be rest assured that government will be interested in the recommendations of this summit as may be contained in the summit communique,” he added.
Dr Bashir Jamoh, the President of CIoTA, in his welcome speech said the theme of the event was apt and a call to a renewed scrutiny, supervision and stocktaking within the transportation sector.
While pledging CIOTA’s support to improving the transport sector, Jamoh said it was time to take stock nationally of all the transportation assets of the country.
According to him, proper inventory of our national transportation assets will address most concerns faced by the sector.
He said :”CIOTA by virtue of its enabling act provides for the professionalisation of the
function through the council for the registration of transportants.
“This also is a regulatory matter. As the only chartered body for the practice of transportation, we must shine the light for others to follow.
“We must look at regulation across the professional, operational and commercial dimensions.
“Most of the transportation disasters on our major roads are symptoms of weak or failed regulatory mechanisms at various levels.”
Representing the Managing Director, FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu, the Director, Human Resourcesand Administration, Norris Anozie, said safety and security were the two most important parameters within the air travels.
He said that it was time focus should be at developing all means of transportation through effective policy frameworks and regulations to properly address transport needs in the country.
Hajia Ramatu Ahmed, the Commissioners for Transportation in the Nigeria ln Forum expressed the forum’s desire to collaborate CIoTA for a better transportation sector in the country.
She said that the sector belonged to “us as Nigerians, it is our responsibility to ensure it functions as it should for the betterment of all.”
The Rector of MAN, Oron , Commodore Emmanuel Effedua, said maritime insecurity affected Nigeria more than any country in the Gulf of Guinea.
Effedua, represented by Dr Eto Gabriel, the Director, Human Resource Transport Services, however noted that with the establishment of the Deep Blue project, the effect had been curtailed.
He said that for the country’s waters to be safe, “we must ensure that ships under our flag complied with stipulated requirements.
“We appeal to CIoTA to use its professional skills to provide specialist concept to ensure standard and regular maintenance of water crafts.
“They should draw the attention of relevant authorities to the need to entrench global best practice in implementation of maritime safety laws.” (NAN)