The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, has stressed the need for intermodal transportation system in the country.
He said doing so would boost the nation’s economy and enhance transportation sector contribution to Nigeria’s gross domestic products (GDP).
The NSC boss stated this while speaking at a three-day National Transportation Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA) in Abuja with the theme: “Unlocking the Potential of Transportation for Sustainable Development.”
Bello, decried the absence of seamless links in the country’s transport infrastructure while commending government efforts at getting them fixed.
Bello, said there must be a link between economy and transportation in Nigeria if the economy must move faster with its peers.
According to him, CIoTA holds the answer to several of Nigeria’s lingering transport issues since it is organised, devoid of unhealthy rivalry and not having any distraction like leadership tussles.
Nigeria, Bello stated, was in the era of diversification of national revenue sources and the transport sector is supportive of other businesses including creation of much needed employments.
He said Apapa and Tin Can Ports that has 24m metric tonnes capacity for cargo handling, presently handles over 89m metric tonnes which gets them overstretched.
He added that linking the ports with rail and pipelines would bridge existing gaps in cargo delays and address the perennial traffic in Apapa area of Lagos.
The executive secretary suggested that the whole of Apapa should be handed over to Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as a way of getting it organised.
The NPA, according to him, should determine who does what and in which area of the port environment.
He said an issue as sensitive ad transport should not be left to non-professionals as transport connects people and businesses and should be a thing of pride to citizens.
He decried that Nigeria as the only country whose crude is carried at Free On Board (FOB) carriage mode causing huge loss of freight components amounting to billions on naira.
Also speaking, the President of the CIoTA, Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, stated that the institute was set to professionalise all aspects of transportation industry in Nigeria for sustainable development.
According to him, “with the recent assent of Mr. President recognising the Institute as the sole professional body in the transport industry, CIoTA will engage all stakeholders to ensure that all those involved in transport administration in Nigeria are certified to enhance professionalism.
He also disclosed that the institute’s plan to engage some graduate youths already mobilised for the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) as transport administration volunteers.
According to him, the volunteer group would also work with other relevant government agencies like Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) in carrying out its activities.
He added that CIoTA would conduct research aimed at solving most of the transport challenges in the country.
Standardisation of transport training geared towards enhanced professionalism, according to Jamoh, would be done by the institute through upgrading curriculum of transport training schools and partnership.
He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent groundbreaking launch of the University of Transportation in Daura and Katsina State and signing the CIoTA Bill into law.