By Sumaila Ogbaje/Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has called on states to key into the programmes and policies of the Federal Government in developing the nation’s transportation sector.
Amaechi made the call at the ongoing meeting of Nigerian Transportation Commissioners Forum on Friday in Abuja.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said that the Forum would offer the transport sector the much required inter-governmental partnership for formulating and executing pro-people policies, programmes and projects.
He added that the ministry had developed and would continue to develop several projects and programmes that would require collaboration with the States in order to ensure effective implementation.
Amaechi listed some of the programmes to include development of Road Transport Operators Manual, Road Crime Control System (RCCS), Introduction of Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) and Development of Urban Mass Transit Transportation.
“There is also the introduction of Green Transportation and Amphibious vehicles.
“I am hopeful that this will remain a platform for interaction, for generation, integration and harmonization of policies, programmes, and initiatives geared towards moving transportation forward.
“I want to state that your goals can only be achieved if you sustain the forum as a team.
“As you well know, the continuity of this platform would largely depend on the level of cooperation and sacrifice you are willing to make for its success,” he said.
The minister said that the provision of a seamless transportation system for Nigerians was long overdue, adding that the forum would help to achieve consensus in key areas towards the development of the road transport subsector.
He said that the road sector was a constitutional responsibility of states, adding that the forum was a veritable institution for peer-review as well as platform for sharing aspirations for the transport sector.
“For us in the Ministry, it offers a good avenue for exchanging the mandate mission, vision, and focus of the Federal Government in the ongoing reforms in the rail, maritime, Aviation, Mass Transit and Road operations Administration sub-sector of Transportation,” he said.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, commended the State Commissioners for Transport for their initiative to form a formidable team to transform the nation’s transport sector.
Ashafa, who was represented by Sen. Victor Umeh, Anambra Central, disclosed that the senate had recently passed the National Transport Commission Bill in line with the senate’s resolve to transform the sector.
He assured that the senate would always be available to offer parliamentary support to the forum in terms of bills and proposals.
Mr Orman Esin, Chairman of the forum and Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, Akwa Ibom State, said the forum was set up in response to the recommendations of the National Council on Transportation in 2017.
Esim said the maiden meeting was meant to brainstorm on issues affecting the transport sector and formally set the forum on strong footing.
He said the forum was also to ensure that there was uniformity in service delivery by state governments on the roads such as the issue of multiple charges and taxes even within a state.