The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, has given assurances that the ministry will implement workable and practicable policy initiatives that will advance the efficiency of the transport sector to play a critical role in the sustainable development of the economy.
Sambo disclosed this in Abuja at the executive session of the 17th National Council on Transportation (NCT) themed “Transportation Technology and Innovation for socio-economic Sustainability”.
“At the end of this 17th session, we are going to come up with several resolutions. We have decided [that] we have no choice other than to make sure that they are implemented. If you sit down for 20 years and decide on the best policies without implementing them, then you have just wasted your time.”
Sambo noted that, aside implementation of policies, technology and ICT have taken the centre stage in human interaction, hence this year’s theme. He called on stakeholders to adopt implementable smart goals that would align with the dynamic trends and changes around the globe.
“Technology contributed 18.44 per cent of the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2022 compared to 6.33 per cent only, contributed by the oil sector. Thus, the need to leverage the potentials of technology which can ensure efficient movement of goods and services, simplify communication processes and generally improves the overall quality of life.”
Furthermore, he observed that for transportation to be relevant in driving an innovative and digital economy, stakeholders in Nigeria need to envision the future together and work together to provide a veritable platform that enables other sectors of the economy to thrive.
“The majority of our people live in the states, so we expect state government to innovate and come on board and we will provide the enabling environment for the states to thrive,” Sambo said.
In his welcome remarks, the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, said: “This year’s theme is a call for a paradigm shift from the well-known traditional approach to adopting new, innovative technologies that will revolutionise the movement of people and goods, transform the design and operation of transportation systems”.
Adegoroye harped on the need to embrace imminent transition in the transportation sector that will impact positively the Nigerian transport system, noting that the growth of new technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, among others, if properly harnessed will guarantee an all-encompassing national development for the country.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Marine and Land Transport, Sen. Danjuma Goje assured of the National Assembly’s support, noting that no country can attain development without a viable and sustainable transportation system. He pledged that the committee’s members will support the ministry in its drive to elevate and improve the transport sector, through their oversight roles.
Similarly, the chairman of the House Committee on Marine Safety, Education and Administration, Lynda Ikpeazu said: “We need to develop this sector to contribute to our economy and there’s no gainsaying that if you want to develop, you must use technology and unfortunately right now in Nigeria, we are lacking that. That is why I am very happy that there is this kind of forum. I hope that whatever comes out of here will be implemented; that it doesn’t get stuck as being an academic exercise. We need to go beyond theory, we need to [be] practical [about] whatever we are doing here”.
The 17th National Council on Transportation had in attendance over 20 state commissioners and their permanent secretaries, heads of agencies, captains of industries and other relevant stakeholders, numbering over 500.