The 2017 15th National Council on Transportation is holding in Sokoto, Sokoto State with the theme: “Efficiency of Intermodalism in Transportation: Panacea for Economic Recovery”.
In his welcome address, today, 28th August, 2017, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation Sabiu Zakari said that transportation all over the world holds the key to any economy and forms the basis of all socio-economic interactions. He added that transportation also constitutes a significant factor in the sustainable development of any economy through the facilitation of the movement of goods and persons, promotion of social cohesion, integration and unity of a country.
According to him, Nigeria indeed suffers from dearth of transport infrastructure/services and lacking synergy between the various modes of transportation. He noted that the current transport infrastructure and services are inadequate to cope with the country’s huge population hence, the need to develop and integrate the various modes of transportation to enhance the nation’s transport system.
Sabiu Zakari opined that “the optimal utilization of the different modes of transportation and their interconnectivity will greatly enhance our transportation system”. He disclosed that the different transportation modes (Road, Rail, Marine (Inland Waterways), Air and Pipe-line) which were more or less developed independently with little or no integration account for the bane of transportation in Nigeria.
He defined intermodal transportation as the movement of passengers or freight from one mode of transport to another which commonly takes place at a terminal specifically designed for such a purpose. For this reason he said, the Federal Government has made modest strides in linking Apapa port to rail and currently, bonded containers are being transported by rail from Apapa Port to the Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL) Depot in Kaduna.
Sabiu Zakari stated that the vision of Government in this initiative is to ensure that all Seaports, Airports and Inland Container Depots in the Country are connected by rail. In this way for instance, “a farmer in Sokoto will be able to carry his farm produce from his farm by road to the nearest Inland Container Depots where it would be carried by rail to one of the seaports for export to Europe, America or Asia” he said.
The Deputy Govenor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu represented by the Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry of Works and Transportation, Alhaji Bello Wammako while declaring open the technical session of the 15th National Council on Transportation in Sokoto said, the Council would generate a pool of ideas that would properly position the Nigeria transportation sector. He called on the Federal Government to extend the rail line from Kaura Namoda in Zamfara state to sokoto state being the economic base of the state. The Sokoto State Government also called for the establishment of a Dry Port at Illela Local Government area of the State.
In a paper presentation on the theme of the conference, “Efficiency of inter modalism in transport: Panacea for economic recovery”, the Director General of the National Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Dr. Aminu Yusuf stated that Nigeria need a well-coordinated transport system to move away from its 90th position on the ease of doing business noting that remaining on this position would be most embarrassing and disastrous for The Country.
The National council on transportation has State Commissioners of transportation, the Amalgated Commercial Tricycle & Motor Cycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and all other stakeholders on transportation who are brainstorming on ways to improve on the activities in the countrys transportation sector.