The Nigerian government has reassured the citizens of its determination towards addressing road mobility safety challenges, to save lives and maintain sanity in the Road Sub-sectors.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation in Nigeria, Mr Sabiu Zakari said the government was working assiduously on intermodalism, by linking all the Modes to one another for easy means of transportation.
Mr Zakari said this in Abuja during the ongoing 3rd Stakeholders Conference on Road Transport and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria.
He stated that ”the Conference is expected to critically evaluate the impact of Road and Mass Transit security to the Road Sub-sector infrastructure development and usage.”
Mr Zakari noted that the three-Day conference aimed at highlighting areas such as Road infrastructure development as a critical component for the realisation of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG).
According to him, it is inline with the Economic Recovery Growth Plan ( ERGP) of the Nigerian government to engage with stakeholders to enable the present government focus on transportation, having recognised it as a major enabler of economic development.
“The Conference will offer a valuable platform for our major stakeholders to contribute to the discourse on Road Safety Mobility in Nigeria, including the nexus between Non – motorised transportation and clean mobility in ensuring road safety for engendering pro-people road transportation with implications health and post-crash management,” he explained further.
Mr Zakari urged participants at the conference to draw the attention of road users and stakeholders in the transport industry to the emerging trends in transport safety and generate ideas for Nigeria to key into them as well as making recommendations to the government for on-ward implementation.
He enjoined the media to join hands with the transport sector in the campaign for reliable, sustainable and safer mobility in Nigeria through the Mass media.
A membe of the Senator, Gbenga Ashafa stated that because of the strategy role of the transportation system, the Federal Executive Council has laid emphasis on it to achieve its key objectives of harnessing private sector investment in infrastructure development, job creation, restoring growth and improving capital for national development.
Senator Ashafa said that transportation and particularly Mass Transit ,which affects a large demography of Nigerians deserves very close attention.
“The conference and its theme; ‘Road mobility Safety in Nigeria’ connote a necessary multi-demensional synergy between the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Federal Ministry of Power, Work, and Housing.
”The relationship between these two ministries are perhaps complementary in that both provide the factors for transportation and the necessary infrastructure needed for the effective transportation of goods and persons,” he emphasised.
The Senator commended the immediate past Minister of Transportation and that of work At Rotimi Amaechi and Mr Babatunde Fashola respectively for the extensive work done in the Land transportation sector and the development of road infrastructure.
Senator Ashafa revealed that the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Works has awarded 121 road contracts and constructed 1,262 kilometers of road between 2016 and 2018 alone.
He advised the government to adopt a multi-modal approach to the issue of transportation in Nigeria.
Senator Ashafa explained that a more coordinated approach, with a synergy in the activities of all the necessary components of transportation had become important, to meet the demands of modern transportation and logistics.
The Lawmaker further revealed that they had began work on the National Transportation Commission Bill, which sought amongst other things, to set up a multi-modal transport agency that would be responsible for the regulation of economic activities and safety standards in the transport sector.
He said; ”they were also able to increase budgetary provisions to the ministry of transportation between 2016 and 2019 to finance items such as Guarantees seed fund for inter-state road transport, National Road Transportation and Mass Transit administration, survey and projection amongst others.”
Senator Ashafa stressed that more importantly, the Nigerian government also approved the sum of N500 million for solar powered Tricycle and Amphibious vehicles the development of Mass Transit sector as well as boost job creation.
He stated that; “in 2017, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics published data situating the number of cars that ply Nigeria roads at about 11.7million on a daily basis. Of this figures, commercial vehicles hold about 58.08 percent of that number. The Nigerian Institute of Transport technology further published data in 2018 to state that no fewer than 1,538 Nigerians died in road accidents in the fourth quarter of 2018, with a total of 2,532 road accidents recorded in the period under review.”
Senator Ashafa said report from the Bureau identified speed violations as responsible for 52 perfect of the total road accidents in the country.
He enjoined the citizenry that while government has a duty of providing appropriate infrastructure and policies, it is the responsibility of Nigerians to hold themselves accountable to safety rules and regulations on the roads.
The theme for the 2019 Annual Stakeholders Conference on Road Transport and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria is “Road Mobility Safety in Nigeria.”