Transportation remains a major catalyst for rapid national development – Minister

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Transportation remains a major catalyst for rapid national development – Minister

* Says the sector is a major driver of intra-African trade

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has stated that transportation remains a major catalyst for rapid national development.

The Minister said this during the 2022 Ministerial Retreat with the theme: “Developing Capacity and Strategy to Deliver the National Development Plan (NDP) for the Transportation Sector,” holding from Wednesday 26th to Sunday 30th October 2022, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

According to him, “The Transportation Sector has contributed to socio-economic needs of Nigerians and promoted overall sustainable development of the nation”.

He added; “The provision of transportation infrastructure will always be work in progress for any nation that desires rapid development” .

Sambo further disclosed; “A lot needs to be done in the sector, as government came up with the National Development Plans (Medium-Term Development Plans 2021-2025 and a Long-Term Plan called the Nigeria Agenda 2050), which the Ministry domesticated as the Transport Sector Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2021-2025 Policy Document.

“This plan aims at accelerating the growth of transportation sector in the country with a strategic Medium-Term Vision Statement, which is: “To have effective, efficient, intermodal, safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable transportation system contributing positively to growth of the Nigerian economy.”

He informed : “To make the above plan possible, the Ministry intends to pursue it through improving safety of transportation, security and collaboration amongst transportation stakeholders, professionalism and Human Capacity Building; strengthening institutional governance and regulation; as well as Multi-modal infrastructure development to bring about safe and Secured Transportation; Drive Economic Development; Facilitate Connectivity (Intermodal and Multimodal); Develop Local Capacity (Professionalism); Ensure Sustainability”

The Minister identified activities to drive the transportation sector to include: Implementation of 25 year – Railway Modernisation Programme; the Ports Master Plan; inland Waterways transportation development, the Nigerian Transportation Master-plan (NTM); Tarrifs/costs and creation of Private Sector – led National fleet, as well as Manpower capacity development.

While applauding the present administration’s “efforts at expansion and modernisation of the Nation’s Transportation System, which resulted in numerous achievements in the Rail, Maritime and Road Sub-sectors, the Minister called on all stakeholders to maintain harmonious working relationships. This, he said will galvanise the Transportation Sector to become more competitive, efficient and productive.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, called on stakeholders in the sector to leverage on opportunities presented by Public, Private Partnership to grow the sector, as they have the capital and expertise needed for growth.

He also advised that Nigeria should take full advantage of its geographical position in the West African sub-region and Africa at large to leverage on African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement of which Nigeria is privy.

To him, the transportation sector is a major driver for the promotion of intra-African trade .

More so, the Permanent Secretary, Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, observed that;  “the transportation sector is a major driver of National Development Plans, as the sector is critical for enhacement of natural integration, economic growth and unification of the country “.

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