APTCON Moves to Boost Transport Sector

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Nume Ekeghe

Private transport company owners under the aegis of Association of Private Transport Companies of Nigeria (APTCON), have called on stakeholders in the sector to tap into every potential the sector has to offer for its growth and development.

Speaking recently, the convener of the association, Dr Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, expressed the readiness of members to energise the sector with trillions in fresh investments that will help grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“It is our intention to fully mobilise and rally resources, both human and material, for the growth of the transport sector which has been identified by experts as capable of further propelling Nigeria’s GDP,” she said.

She added: “We are keen on building the capacity of our members to leverage new opportunities, improve their services and operate sustainably, especially as the nation’s economy faces very severe strains.”

Onwuegbuzie noted that APTCON’s forum slated for Wednesday in Lagos would bring together all stakeholders and address current challenges facing operators in the industry with a view to aggregating solutions for profitability and sustainability.

APTCON, she said was established to provide a platform for players within the industry to meet and discuss matters bordering on common interests, regulations and strategies on how to overcome operational challenges to ensure business sustainability and profitability for all stakeholders.

“It is expected that APTCON will also provide a forum for interstate passenger transport operators to speak with one voice especially as regards government regulations, bus fares and other issues affecting the sector,” she added.

Nigeria’s transportation sector contributes about three per cent to country’s GDP annually, according to a report obtained on the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) website.
Road transportation accounts for more than 80 per cent of passenger and freight movement in the country; government is revitalising the railway network to service large proportion of this movement.

The aviation sub-sector is also being transformed to a more user friendly and affordable mode of transport. Similarly, the capacity of the inland waterways is being built to effectively complement the other modes of transport.

To develop transport infrastructure and facilitate private sector participation, government had established the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to manage the selection, development, procurement, implementation and monitoring of Private Public Partnership (PPP) projects.

Part of the policy trust of the ICRC is to accelerate investment in national infrastructure through Public Private Partnership arrangement and key expansion and refurbishment of existing assets

Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi had said the government was determined to fully explore and exploit revenue opportunities in the transportation sector, adding that the government remains committed to revive the nation’s economy with transport having a major contribution to the GDP.

According to him, the transportation industry does not only hold the key to any economy but that it also forms the basis for all socioeconomic interactions.

“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 multidimensional economic regulator and other related matters. This bill, among others, has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in March 2014,” he had said.