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Stakeholders call for integrated multi-modal transportation system to drive Nigeria’s economy


Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi

Stakeholders in the maritime transport
sub-sector gathered on Thursday in Lagos to identify and address the sector’s
challenges, and concluded that the nation needs a transport policy for an
effective multi-modal transport system to drive the economy.

The call was made at the inaugural Transport
Leadership Lecture organised by Kings Communications Ltd., with the theme “Driving
Change With Leadership In Transport Industry.”

The guest speaker, Prof. David Adamu Baike,
a former vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, said Nigeria needs drastic
change in a positive direction to drive economic activities.

He said that a well organised transport
system of a country could easily be the life-wire of that country, as is being
experienced in Ethiopia.

He, however, lamented that Nigeria with
its multifarious endowments in transportation facilities remained the most
disorganised and the most wasteful system in place.

Baike noted that people must be held
accountable for actions, while the system would require responsible leaders who
should be dedicated to the course of the industry for progress.

“No one has been held accountable for the
disgraceful demise of the Nigeria Railways, Nigeria Airways and the prestigious
shipping lines that pilled between Lagos and Southampton and or Liverpool.

“The crux of the matter is that we do not
have an integrated policy on transportation system in the country and these
accounts for chaos that is characteristic of our experiences while travelling
within the country.

“The transport industry in Nigeria is in a
desperate situation. It will require a committed leadership that will be
prepared to make sacrifices that will bail the industry from its present
morass,” he said.

Chairman of the occasion, Barrister Margaret
Orakwusi, said leadership in the industry should be backed with appropriate legal
and regulatory framework that should cause board members to be appointed

She said the leadership must show ability
to carry out its function with zero tolerance for corruption, which had been a
bane of development in the industry.

At the panel discussion,  Barr. Emeka Akabogu called for a leadership
with focus on driving set agenda and achieving goals, not just going about
routine works, signing of contracts.

He charged the transportation minister to
define Nigeria’s transport policy, have operational standard and ensure that
the agencies under the ministry performed their key roles to develop and grow
the sector.

An industry expert, Otunba Kunle Folarin,
proposed a realignment of the transportation sector in line with a national
transport policy.

He said each of the agencies under the
ministry require master plans to enable them function with a focus, adding that
Nigeria needs an integrated transport system to support its economic agenda.

In his contribution, Barr. Alban Igwe
called for a transportation policy and the need to make available a document
that would encourage prospective investors to the sector.

He said the draft policy on transportation
needs a review, in order to give the industry the required direction, while
professionalism should be given a priority in the running of the industry.

The event Convener, Mr Kingsley Anaroke,
said the issue of a national transport policy should be top on the agenda to
engender the desired position for Nigeria’s transportation system.

Anaroke said the draft policy on
transportation had been abandoned since 2003, therefore leaving the industry
without a clear-cut direction to follow.  

He urged the transportation minister to
raise and work with technical committees that have the wherewithal to address
the issues plaguing the industry.

Highlight of the event was the award
presentation of the ‘Best Maritime Agency of the Year 2015’ to the Nigerian
Shippers’ Council.  
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