Gowon urges stakeholders to create innovative strategies to advance transportation sector

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By Aisha Cole
Abuja, Dec. 1, 2020 A Former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has urged stakeholders, policy makers and technical experts in the transport sector to create innovative strategies that could upgrade the transportation system in the country.

Gowon, who was also the Chairman of the 2020 summit of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA), made the remarks in a zoom presentation in Abuja on Tuesday.

Naija247news reports that the theme of the meeting was “Building Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Nigeria :Opportunities, Innovation and Technologies.

“We must embark upon an intensive campaign to make more public and private sectors accountable and performance oriented, with a view to provide the citizenry with an eficient transport system.

“We should also inculcate a code of ethical conduct, transparency and accountability into the whole transportation system for national development.

“The task of advancing the transport system cannot be left to government alone.

It requires partnership between the public, private sector participation, civil society and the general public.
“Confidence and support are paramount in this campaign of building a virile transport system in our country.

“It is worthy to 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, he said”.

Gowon reiterated the need to be involved in finding ways to improve the transportation sector, and not to destroy what we had like it recently happened in Lagos, during the #EndSARs crisis where over 150 government owned buses were destroyed.

He added that the country should embark on a realistic and honest assessment of the National Transportation system in the country and repositioning the sector.
Gowon, however, lamented the COVID-19 pandemic which impacted the nation’s economy negatively and stunted the growth the nation would have made.

Also speaking, the President of CIOTA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that the summit was organised to brainstorm, on how to improve infrastructure in the transportation sector for seamless carriage of goods and services by sea, road or by rail.

Jamoh said that there were specific curriculum that members of the CIOTA could cover and understand before moving from one stage to another after obtaining a degree in transport management.

He stressed the need for members to engage in continuous development educationally to enable them operate in line with global best practices in the transportation sectors.

Jamoh added that there was need for collaboration in the area of certification such as diploma degrees from the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) before getting to be members of the institution

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, had attributed lack of coordination and modernisation as the challenges facing the transportation sector in the country.

Bello said that the transport infrastructure should integrate with other transportation infrastructure which needs professionals to direct the operation adding that building infrastructure must integrate.

“What happen at the sea ports must have relevance on the inter-lands that is why we lack interconnectivity in most of our ports.

“Off course we have a port in Calabar and once the goods is out in Calabar ports, you need high sense of inter-connectivity and modern transport to enable the goods to move to other parts of the county.

“Talking about seamless transport system, there is carriage of goods by only or partly by sea, according to the United Nations Convention.

“In the modern Convention, because of commerce, modern commerce dictated what infrastructure you are going to get such as door-to-door delivery of cargo electronically,” Bello said.

He stressed that the transport sector must be infused with technology that would drive the sector, adding that there was need for professional coordinators in the transport sector for effective management.