Road Transport Owners Call for Floating of Specialised Bank

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Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has called on the federal government to establish the Transport Development Bank (TDB) to ensure sustained growth of the sector.

To reduce the chaos in the industry, the association further advised the government to put in place a transport regulatory body that could checkmate the operations of the industry, which he said is now an all-comers’ affair.

In a statement in Abuja, Executive Secretary of NARTO, Mr. Aloga Ogbogo, explained that the proposed bank would be modelled after existing ones like the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).

The organisation lamented that there was no regulator for the transport sector, despite its being one of the biggest in the country.

“We are requesting that just as we have the Nigerian Bank of Commerce and Industry (NBCI) we have the Bank of Agriculture, we need a bank. This is because commerce and industry cannot thrive without transportation.

“We are requesting that a Transport Development Bank should be packaged to assist transporters.
“The road transport subsector that is responsible for the movement of close to 90 per cent of goods and passengers does not have a regulatory body. It is an all-comers affair,” NARTO lamented.

The association recalled that while the federal government engaged the services of NARTO to distribute Covid-19 palliatives to other sectors of the economy such as pharmaceutical and aviation, it had not deemed it fit to also extend the gesture to the transporters.

It urged the government to also give the sector some relief materials to cushion the effects of the pandemic, noting that although the government is doing its best in terms of road construction and rehabilitation, there are still some flashpoints that require attention.

NARTO called on the government to embrace what it described as the best global practice for road maintenance, which is to concession the infrastructure.

It added: “We urge that there should be some level of concessioning so that the private sector can invest in them for better maintenance”.