By Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has said that funding was the major challenge facing development of transport infrastructure in Africa.
Amaechi stated this on Monday during the Annual General Meeting of the Sub-Sahara Africa Transport Policy Programme (SSATP) held in Abuja.
The meeting with the theme: “Africa’s Rapid Urbanisation and the Response to Urban Mobility in the Digital Era,” was attended by five transport ministers of African countries.
Other Ministers of Transport from various African countries are expected to join the event, which started on Monday and expected to end on Friday, July 6.
The meeting was organised for all Sub-Sahara African countries to brainstorm on the way forward on urban transports and mobility.
According to the minister, it is an association that accommodates all African ministers of transportation, which Nigeria is hosting.
“The meeting is to ensure that we have a sustainable and organised transportation model to be able to transport personnel and goods.
“Fund is the major challenge facing transport infrastructure. We need funds to enable us build railway. We need funds to be able to build roads. We need funds to improve the aviation.
“So, our greatest challenge is fund,” Amaechi said.
The minister noted that Nigeria will exchange ideas with other African ministers on areas they have done well and how to source for funds to build transport infrastructure.
The event is an annual meeting, the 2017 edition was hosted by Morocco.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said it became necessary for Nigeria to host the event because of the inherent advantages to be derived.
“So far, we have five ministers from various countries of Africa that have arrived and we are expecting more ministers to discuss issues on internal and regional integration.
“The advantages for both for Sub-Sahara Africa and North Africa also include how we can relate within ourselves for the expansion of our economy and for social interaction that will generally improve our development,” Zakari said.
NAN reports that the second SSATP Annual Meeting is under the Third Development Plan (DP3) scheduled from July 2 to July 6 to enhance knowledge and share experiences.