HeadlinesTransport Gowon seeks public – private partnership to bridge $3trn transport infrastructure gap in Nigeria By maritimemag December 2, 202045 views ShareTweet 0 Abiola Seun | A former Head of State of Nigeria, His Excellency, General Yakubu Gowon has advocated a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the government and private sector to bridge the $3trillion deficit in the nation’s transportation sector. Recall that the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), had said Nigeria requires a whopping $3trillion by 2024 to bridge its transport infrastructure gap. Speaking at the on- going 2nd National Transport Summit, organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), tagged “Building Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Nigeria: Opportunities, Innovation and Technology”, Gowon who is the chairman of the summit said development of Nigeria’s transport Infrastructure shouldn’t be left in the hand of the private or public sector alone. According to him, critical stakeholders in the transport sector, policy makers and technical experts must think deeply on how to evolve and create innovative strategies to advance the transport system in the country. He however bemoaned destruction of transport infrastructure facilities in Lagos and other parts of the country by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protest. He said, “We all have to be involved in finding ways to improve the transportation sector in our country, and not to destroy what we have as recently happened in Lagos during the #EndSARs crisis when over 150 Lagos buses were destroyed. I think the citizenry; the public have really cautioned themselves not to repeat this sort of thing.” He continued, “Your Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests I think I have spoken enough as the chairman, let me conclude by reiterating the point I have already made that the task of advancing the transport system cannot be left to government alone. It requires partnership between the public sector, the private sector, civil society and the general public. Public participation, confidence and support are paramount in this campaign of building a virile transport system in our country.” “We must embark upon an intensive campaign to make more public and private sectors accountable and performance oriented, with a view to provide the citizenry with proficient transport system. We must inculcate code of ethical conduct, transparency and accountability into the whole of the transportation system for national development.” “May I therefore, at this juncture implore all the critical stakeholders in the transport sector, policy makers and technical experts at this summit to think deeply on how we can evolve and create innovative strategies to advance the transport system in the country,” he charged. He however charged transport experts at the summit to unveil additional strategies for the nation’s transport system to improve. “I leave this to the transport experts present at this summit, who will help us to unveil these strategies at this summit for implementation for our transport system. “It is worthy of note that the summit is designed to provide a platform for critical examination and participation on the way forward of the concept of the economy that affects all other sectors for national development.” “Therefore, we all have to be involved in finding ways to improve the transportation sector in our country, and not to destroy what we have as recently happened in Lagos during the #EndSARs crisis when over 150 Lagos buses were destroyed. I think the citizenry; the public have really cautioned themselves not to repeat this sort of thing.” “Your Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, the nation must embark on a realistic and honest assessment of our national transport system in Nigeria and reposition the transport sector. ‘Unfortunately, the nation has come under the burden of economic challenge of Covid-19 pandemic and the dwindling oil fortunes , which marred critical impact we ought to have made , in order to revitatlise our transportation system in the country.” Speaking in a chat with Journalists after the chairman’s speech, the President, CIoTA, Dr Bashir Jamoh said the crux of the discussion at the summit is on how to improve nation’s transport infrastructure through PPP. “The brain of the summit is how we can improve our infrastructure. Not necessarily rely on Government but the PPP arrangement. You can look at Lekki expressway to Epe. Now we have numbers of tollgate for the investors to recoup their investments. We can now venture into other means of creating extra bridges maybe across Tin Can port or Apapa to other side where we can be able to park containers and then move easily in terms of planning, which is what we are thinking is the best way to fastract infrastructure development.Jamoh who is also the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stated that though the Institute is an advocacy group, it will continue to profer solution to the myraid of transport sector challenges in the country. “I want you to first of all understand that ours is advocacy, we just have to continue to advocate to the Government on what to do. Part of that advocacy is part of what the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr Hassan Bello said about multimodal transport system of evacuating cargoes from.the port. “The Apapa port rail lane to Ibadan is working, which is the solution and for instance, maybe one coach would carry about 100 containers at the same time, that means you are taking 100 trucks at the same time out of the road. “Assuming you did a average of five trips in a day, that will make 500 trucks at the same, the issue of taking 500 trucks off the road is becoming a solution to the problem.””This plus other things will now reduce the level of concentration in terms of road transportation.” © 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.