Stakeholders in the Transport sector has tasked the Federal Government, on the need to accord road development equal priority as this will help actualise Sustainable Development Goals.
Former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, on Thursday, gave the charge at the 9th Nigeria Annual Transport Lecture, organized by Transport Day Newspapers, with the theme: ‘Nigeria’s Transportation For Development; Sectoral Achievements, Prospects and Challenges’ in Abuja,
Ekpa said the Federal Government can as well borrow the way it borrows for rail development to build lasting road infrastructures and improve quality of the road network for the masses.
“I have seen more than two decades in service, and I’m convinced that the funding of transportation sector is inadequate when you consider the fact that transportation is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, the belief is that without transportation, the SDGs will not function” she said.
Ekpa decried the scattered transport policy entities across various ministries in Nigeria, saying that a strategic synergy is required to ensure easy and effective and quick response to issues of road transportation development in the country.
“Because the people doing the thinking and the people doing the coordination and the people doing the Construction and the researchers must be on the same table discussing” she said.
Dr. Ajani Magdalene Nwanwuche, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation noted that transportation constitute a significant factor to national economic prosperity as transportation
facilitates international and local trades, generates employments,as well as enables industrial and infrastructural development.
Nwanwuche stated that the development of deep seaports,and ports operations help to facilitate the ease of doing business, adding, the Ministry of Transportation is not detarred in its vision to evolve a world class transportation system in Nigeria
Also, the Director General, National Auotomotive Design and Development Council,Jelani Aliyu disclosed, discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to design workable solutions for automotive financing to make auto purchase affordable for Nigerians.
Aliyu said the move is part of the agency’s efforts geared towards promoting and enhancing value addition in the transport sector by creating a conducive business climate to further enhance investment inflow and industrialization.
“We had a meeting with the CBN yesterday on auto financing. We want to work out a solution that would enable Nigerians buy new vehicles and pay over a period of six years” he said.
Aliyu said NADDC is rapidly shifting attention to carbonless transport system in Nigeria in a bid to develop and promote advanced transport technology in the automotive industry.
“This is because, vehicle electrification is inevitable, it is the future of automotive industry worldwide and we are working assiduously towards achieving its comprehensive and sustainable adoption in Nigeria.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that poor maintenance culture of vehicles in the transport sector contributes immensely to environmental pollution. The use of EVs that have advanced technology will not only curb these excesses but will also lead to more productivity in the industry.
“Currently, one of our top focus areas is scaling up production of applicable electric vehicles locally, to enable Nigeria meet its target for the Paris Accord and 2060 net zero commitment, both on reducing harmful gas emissions from vehicles” he said.