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‘Government cannot fix economy without improved transport system’


Rapid economic development and improvement in standard of living across the federation may remain elusive unless necessary steps are taken urgently to tackle the challenges in the transportation sector.

The Managing Director, Planet Projects, Biodun Otunola, who gave the verdict, added: “Public transportation is Nigeria’s biggest economic problem. If you get the sector right, you will get the economy right.”

Otunola, who is currently working with the Lagos State government to drastically improve on public transportation, said huge investments- money, quality of life and other economic values are lost daily to the country’s dilapidated transport infrastructure and the dearth of public transportation system across cities in Nigeria.

Speaking in Lagos at the weekend, ahead of a railway conference that would begin today, the transport expert insisted that current efforts being made by government to diversify the economy could only be feasible if the transportation sector is gotten right.

Lamenting over daily lost of man- hour across major cities in Nigeria to accident, loss of produce to accident and poor roads, decline in quality of life over poor public transport system and other plights of Nigerians, the expert said there was need to reduce car ridership by 20 per cent in Nigeria.

Otunola believes that government wastes a lot of money on road construction instead of prioritising public transport scheme that would reduce the daily challenges of the masses.

According to him, people who live in Lagos spend three years in traffic out of every 20 years and decried such economic loss to humans and the country at large.

He said that it makes no business and economic sense when transport alone constitutes about 30 per cent of daily expenditures of an average worker in the country.

“Nigeria is regarded as Africa’s largest economy and the most populous black country in world.  The total population in Nigeria was estimated at 182.2 million people in 2015.

“Indeed, statistic released by the United Nation had projected that Nigeria will become the third largest country in the world by 2050 from its current seventh position, but it cannot boast of effective, reliable and sustainable means of transportation,” he said.

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