The Federal Government will soon present a proposed national transport policy that will revolutionize the transportation sector and engender economic growth in the country.
for the transportation sector.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuke Rotimi Amaechi, at the annual ministerial press briefing with theme; “Landmark Programmes, Projects and Activities of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies in the year 2020” disclosed that a Committee comprising of himself, the Minister of state for Transportation, the Minister of Works and the Minister of Finance with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo as Chairman is to streamline the policy which is expected to be launched this year.
According to Amaechi, harnessing the immense potential of the African continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty can only be realized through a detailed regulatory transport policy document which if complied with is capable of giving Nigeria the most prominent position in the AFCFTA.
Giving a breakdown on the sectorial activities of the mandate of the ministry, the Minister stated that FG is set to commence the following rail projects: Ibadan-Kano, Kano-Maradi, Port Harcourt- Maiduguri and the costal rail, Lagos- Calabar, with all the rail lines terminating at the sea ports.
On the management of the rail lines years after the Chinese leave,
Amaechi informed that about 150 Nigerians in 2019 have been sent to China to study rail engineering for maintenance and sustainability of trains in Nigeria.
In the same vein, the contractors for the kano-Maradi rail project, Mota-Engil is also to sponsor 300
Nigerians to Portugal for studies in rail engineering
Giving insight on why the FG is taking loans, Amaechi said this became necessary as the country did not make use of her resources when there was a windfall and these are necessary infrastructure needed for resuscitation of the transport sector.
On the issue of the current challenges on the waterways, the Minister assured that it will soon end as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has acquired ‘Special Mission Vessels’ to secure the waterways.
Delving into the Road Transport sector, Amaechi said with the ratification of the AfCFTA, has made to imperative for the Ministry to manage its international border posts better to facilitate trade, adding that border posts at Idiroko and Jibiya are at advanced levels of completion.
The introduction of the E-Call Up system has been marred so far with numerous challenges with the most notable being truck parks to which the Minister informed that the Ministry is seeking partnership with the Lagos State Government in allocation of designated truck parks.
Amaechi also noted that the dry inland ports are performing optimally but more can be achieved if the nation’s waterways can be dredged to enable safer and easy navigation.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, observed that “We all know that transportation is the key to the social and economic development of any nation even more so in Nigeria”
She equally added that “We cannot overstate our responsibility within the Ministry and its agencies to deliver an economically viable, sustainable and accessible system to all Nigerians”.
Validating presentations made by the Ministers of Transportation, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commended the efforts and achievements of the Ministry, saying it has remained focused on delivering its projects, especially in the area of railway transportation.
The Ministerial briefing which was held in Abuja, had in attendance: the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Linda Ikpeazu, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Cmdr. Emmanuel Effedua, the Executive Secretary, National Inland Waterways, Kingsley Moghalu, the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Dr. Salih Farah among other heads of Agencies and other Stakeholders.
9th April, 2021