The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, has disclosed that the federal government is committed to boostimg the country’s economy through sustainable transportation infrastructure.
Ajani stated this in Kano at the opening ceremony of the technical session of the 16th National Council on Transportation with the theme: “Sustainable Transportation: A Panacea for National Development” and said “Transportation has proven to be one of the critical factors of development at the heart of economic growth and prosperity of any nation.”
According to her, ” Transportation, is the lubricant that oils the engine of economic development, and should have its rightful place, if sustainable development is to be achieved.”
She noted that it is with this singular reason that President Buhari’s administration in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has pursued economic diversification by building sustainable transportation infrastructure across the country.
She explained that the government had embarked on the implementation of a multimodal transport system, a revitalisation programme and massive investment in the sector, despite financial challenges.
Notable amongst these achievements are: the completion and commissioning of the Warri-Itakpe, Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge lines, the commissioning of the Deep Blue Sea project to improve security and reduce piracy at sea and the recent ground-breaking of the Kaduna-Kano Standard Gauge Rail.
Ajani said that the NCT was responsible for articulating a sustainable framework for the development of the transport sector and charged the participants, with coming up with policies that would result in the growth of the sector.
He added that a forum of this nature provides opportunity for the key players in the sector to interact, cross fertilize ideas and exchange information that will contribute to the growth of the sector.
In his remarks, the Kano State Commissioner for Housing and Transport, Alhaji Mahmoud Sansti, said that transportation is key to achieving economic growth and development.
He however noted that the sector was facing a lot of challenges, hence the need for all stakeholders to proffer lasting solutions.
Sansti urged participants to work hard in bringing out recommendations that would assist to address the challenges in the sector.
Kick-starting the technical section, Professor Samuel Adewumi talked on the theme while the Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank, Ross Oluyede, talked on “Sustainable Funding for Transportation Infrastructure”. They both agreed that the transportation sector is the most important infrastructure in any economy. They equally agreed that no sector can thrive in the absence of a viable and operational transport system.
The Managing Director of Infrastructural Bank further observed that there are challenges bedevilling the Nigerian transport sector, most notable being: insufficient transport infrastructure, lack of investment (both Public and Private sector). He suggested among others that the Federal Government should deploy a Public Private Partnership (PPP) syntax for the transport sector.
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