Nigeria has strategized ways of optimizing the opportunities which lie in road networks like Trans-Saharan highway that connects Nigeria to Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Mali and Algeria; the Lagos- Abidjan Highway through Benin, Togo and Ghana, and the Enugu- Cameroon Highway through Abakaliki – Ogoja, Ikom and Mfum.
Part of the strategies was the one day public enlightenment meeting on developments in the road sector with stakeholders in Abuja with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
There are now existing treaties obligations within the West African sub region and beyond that regulate the amount of load any goods vehicle can put on an axle and by extension on the road in order to do business within ECOWAS and beyond.
Mr Fashola at the meeting said the only way to optimize the opportunities in Nigeria was to sensitize road transporters and imbibe the existing treaties.
“Nigeria’s compliance with these regulations will open a massive door of opportunity and prosperity of cross-border trade to Nigerians engaged in the transport business”. Mr. Fashola added.
He told the stakeholders that the meeting was critical as resolutions at the meeting would have direct impact on Nigeria Economic growth, National productivity and job opportunities.
In his Keynote address, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, said the convocation of the Workshop was an indication of the important role, road transportation plays in the nation’s economic development adding that the critical place of road transportation in the country’s evolution and the national life had never been more alive than presently.
“Presently the haulage of industrial goods, agricultural produce and industrial raw material, petroleum products, power plant components and other economic materials required in the manufacturing sector, are carried out using the road network”, the President said.
He noted that it was this realization that underscored the promise of change by the present administration in May 2015 with infrastructure as a priority.
The stakeholders are, the National Association of Road Transport Owners the National Union of Road Transport Workers and Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, top government officials and relevant agencies among other road users.