By Eromosele Abiodun
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has advocated a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the government and the private sector to bridge the Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit and transform in the country’s transport sector.
He stated this while speaking at the ongoing second National Transport Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), tagged: ‘Building Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Nigeria: Opportunities, Innovation and Technology’.
Gowon, who is the chairman of the summit, said development of the Nigeria’s transport infrastructure shouldn’t be left in the hands of the private or public sector alone.
The former head of state said critical stakeholders in the transport sector, policy makers and technical experts must think deeply on how to evolve and create innovative strategies to advance the transport system in the country.
According to him, “Your Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, the task of advancing the transport system cannot be left to the government alone. It requires partnership between the public sector, the private sector, civil society and the public. Public participation, confidence and support are paramount in this campaign of building a virile transport system in our country.
“We must embark upon an intensive campaign to make more public and private sectors accountable and performance-oriented with a view to providing the citizenry with proficient transport system. We must inculcate code of ethical conduct, transparency and accountability into the transportation system for national development.
“May I therefore, at this juncture, implore all the critical stakeholders in the transport sector, policy makers and technical experts at this summit to think deeply on how we can evolve and create innovative strategies to advance the transport system in the country.”
Gowon, however charged transport experts at the summit to unveil additional strategies for the country’s transport system to improve.
“I leave this to the transport experts present at this summit, who will help us to unveil these strategies at this summit for the implementation for our transport system. It is worthy of note that the summit is designed to provide a platform for critical examination and participation on the way forward of the concept of the economy that affects all other sectors for national development.
“Therefore, we all have to be involved in finding ways to improve the transport sector in our country, and not to destroy what we have as recently happened in Lagos during the #EndSARS crisis when over 150 Lagos buses were destroyed. I think the citizens have really cautioned themselves not to repeat this sort of thing again,” he said.
Also speaking, the President of CIoTA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the crux of the discussion at the summit was on how to improve the country’s transport infrastructure through PPP.
“The crux of the summit is on how we can improve our infrastructure. Not necessarily rely on the government but the PPP arrangement. You can look at Lekki expressway to Epe for example. Now we have a lot of tollgate for the investors to recoup their investment.
“We can now venture into other means of creating extra bridges maybe across Tin Can port or Apapa to the other side where we