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Transportation Minister, Amaechi, frowns at transport sector’s 1.41 per cent contribution to GDP

Transportation Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of
Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has described as too poor, the contribution of
the transport sector to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The minister said the sector could do better than its present contribution of 1.41 per cent to the economy, adding that the problem has been untapped potential.

He said that
considering the place of the transport sector in the national economy, there
was the need to exploit all the opportunities in the sector for it to
contribute more.

The Deputy Director,
Public Affairs of the ministry, Mrs Yetunde Oshonaike, in a press statement
said although Nigeria was blessed with multiple modes of transportation, the
potential were yet to be tapped.

He said: ““The
government of President Buhari is in the process of developing a national
transportation master-plan that will be implemented as a fulfilment one of his
campaign promises to diversify the national economy while improving non-oil
sector revenues.

“As a first step,
the government will pursue the enactment of legislation that will open up the
sector to new investments that will lead to economic prosperity.

“Among the bills
that are ready for legislative action is the National Transport Commission Bill
– an act to provide for the establishment of a National Transport Commission as
an independent multi-modal economic regulator and other related matters. He
said the bill among others have been approved by the Federal Executive Council
(FEC) in March 2014.”

Amaechi noted that
despite the large population, the railway sub-sector had been neglected over
the decades even as most effective and cheapest mode of mass transportation.

He said that the
major issue affecting transport in Nigeria include “bad roads, inadequate fleet of
buses and trucks; irregular and inadequate trains and airplanes services; and
congested ports.”

“In line with these
are physical problems such as the dearth of suitably trained transport managers
and planners, capital restructuring bottlenecks, serious issues of
institutional reforms and ineffective traffic regulation.”

He added that the current state of the railway was an indication of
the serious neglect of this important sub-sector occasioned by poor policy
initiation and implementation.

He said, “This has
led to the proliferation of privately owned and operated road haulage services
resulting in unregulated and chaotic situation on the nation’s roads.

“Nigeria Railway
Corporation (NRC) has been effectively reduced to an economically unviable
venture dependent on government subvention without any return on the huge
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