The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said the safety, quality, cost and efficiency of transport services influenced the trading environment of a country.
Bello, who disclosed this during the groundbreaking ceremony of a truck transit park in Potiskum, Yobe State on Wednesday, said this also determined the competitiveness of exported and imported goods.
According to him, transport is a critical determinant in the conduct of domestic and international trade with great impacts on national economic growth and development.
“Road transportation is the dominant mode of transportation owing to challenges in our rail system, restricted waterways and expensive air travel.
“Road transport accounts for about 90 per cent of freight movement. Therefore, the safety of cargo on the highway must be given a priority,” Bello said.
According to Bello, the truck park is a modern road transport infrastructure designed for the safety of cargo and standardisation of truck driving.
The NSC boss said it ensured truck operators obtained some measure of safety and comfort while in transit and reduced the rate of road traffic crashes.
While reiterating other benefits of park, Bello said the need to enhance the transport value chain in the country necessitated NSC’s involvement in the project.
“Potiskum is known as a mega hub of heavy truck business especially in the North East region of Nigeria.
“It has a vibrant cattle market which is the largest in sub-saharan Africa and it is a major gate to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
“Therefore, the prospects of the project are very bright,” he said.
Bello, however, urged indigenous investors, multilateral lending institutions and other investors across the globe to invest in the project.
The Chairman of Potiskum Local Government, Salisu Muktari, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his administrative policies, which the state had benefited from.
Muktari added that Buhari’s decision for a truck park in the locality was a wise decision in the right direction.
He further commended the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in his efforts toward improving rail transport in the country and the NSC boss for collaborating in the TTP project.
The Yobe State Government and NSC are partnering under a public-private-partnership arrangement to construct the transportation hub.
The project falls under the Ssates’ Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry while the Yobe State government has provided 50 hectares of land to site it.
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