The Federal Government has restated its commitment to provide sustainable transportation infrastructure to boost economic development.
“Transportation has proven to be one of the critical factors of development at the heart of economic growth and prosperity of any nation,’’ Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, said in Kano.
She was addressing the opening of a technical session at the 16th conference of the National Council on Transportation (NCT).
NCT is responsible for articulating sustainable framework for the development of the nation’s transport sector.
“Transportation, as the lubricant and engine of economic development, should have its rightful place, if sustainable development is to be achieved.
“It is for this reason that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has pursued economic diversification by building sustainable transportation infrastructure across the country,’’ she said.
Dr Ajani noted that the Federal Government embarked on the implementation of a multimodal transport system, a revitalisation programme and massive investment in the sector, in spite of financial challenges.
She said notable among these achievements were the completion and inauguration of the Warri-Itakpe and the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail lines.
Ajani said the inauguration of the Deep Blue Sea project to improve security and reduce piracy at sea and the recent ground-breaking of the Kaduna-Kano Standard Gauge rail line were also remarkable achievements.
The permanent secretary charged participants at the 16th NCT to take advantage of the forum to interact and exchange ideas and information that could contribute to the growth of the sector.
In his remarks, Kano State Commissioner for Housing and Transport, Alhaji Mahmoud Sansti, corroborated the idea that transportation played a huge role in attaining economic growth and development.
Sansti, however, noted that the sector was facing a lot of challenges, hence the need for all stakeholders to proffer lasting solutions.
He urged participants to work hard and recommend ways to address challenges in the sector.
During the technical session, Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank PLC, Ross Oluyede, also noted that the transportation sector is the most important infrastructure in any economy.
He observed, however, that there were challenges bedevilling the Nigerian transport sector.
He listed some of the challenges as insufficient transport infrastructure and lack of investments (both Public and Private sectors).
Oluyede suggested that the Federal Government should deploy a Public Private Partnership strategy to maximise the transport sector to uplift the economy.
The theme of the event is “Sustainable Transportation: A Panacea for National Development”.