Maritime stakeholders have charted the way forward for a sustainable development in the transport sector with a call to the federal government to collaborate with stakeholders to implement the national transport policy for the country.
The stakeholders who spoke yesterday at a Transport Leadership lecture organised by Kings Communication Limited said one of the major challenges faced in the sector is lack of an integrated policy on transportation system.
Speaking at the event, maritime lawyer, Emeka Akabogu said that in setting agenda for the transport ministry, there is need to take a look at the National Transport Commission Bill.
He recalled that the Bill, as well as the National Transport Policy was discussed at the national conference in 2014 but it is yet to be implemented by government.
“I am aware that immediately the new minister was in place, the Petroleum Industry Bill was dusted up and sent to the National Assembly, but the NTC Bill I am not aware it is being commissioned or if it would be commissioned in the next couple of months”
“The agenda for transport which I would set for the minister would be to establish a transport policy for Nigeria” he said
Also speaking, Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC) Otunba Kunle Folarin, stressed that there must be a master plan for the transport sector.
He said “what we are having today could be likened to an animal kingdom where there is no pattern. Baro rail lines were laid because there was agricultural produce in Baro, rail lines led to Enugu because of the coal, there was justification for these projects, hence we don’t want our leaders to be emotional to projects, but to do the needful, and leadership with emotion cannot deliver,” he said.
On her part, Chairperson of the occasion, Barrister Margaret Orakwusi while urging all players in the sector to corporate with the ministry of transport in turning the sector around noted that all stakeholders must be responsible for good leadership in the sector.
She added that appointees in the agencies in the sector must be competent to provide policy direction.
Earlier, guest lecturer at the event, former Chancellor, University of Benin, Professor David Adamu Baike stated that the transport sector was lagging behind because Nigeria lacks an integrated policy on transportation system.
He decried that despite Nigeria’s diverse endowment in transportation facilities, the sector remains the most disorganized system in place with the country losing millions of naira as a result of operating a very poor transport system both nationally and internationally.
According to him, the transport sector is in a desperate situation and therefore requires a committed leadership that will be prepared to make sacrifices that will bring about the desired change in the sector.
“Nigeria with its multifarious endowments in transportation facilities remains the most disorganised and the most wasteful system in place. No one has been held accountable for the disgraceful demise of the Nigeria’s railways, airways and the prestigious shipping lines that plied between Lagos and Southampton.
“Transport management demands a unique leadership capability to function effectively and efficiently. It is not only a matter of having a leadership as much as it is that of having a clear direction that would guide the leadership to attain the desired goals. A leader faced with the task of driving a change agenda may have no problems, provided he is conversant with what is needed to be changed and he is giving the tools to attain the goals of his mission,” he said.
In his address, leader of the organizing committee, Kingsley Anaroke expressed regret that the transport policy had not been implemented over the years due to non-implementation of past recommendations from stakeholders.
“Since 2002, we have been talking about the national transport policy been drafted for how many years now we are still talking about it been redrafted and presented at the national council of transport level. But what has happened? It is all we will do. When will these be actualized? Is it when we are all dead? We are still dreaming, when are we going to give birth to these dream? He quizzed.
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