Stakeholders urge sustainable innovations for efficient logistics sector
Stakeholders have called for implementation of innovative strategies that will develop the logistics and transport sector, especially as the world is moving towards decarbonisation.
They stated this, yesterday, at the 2022 Conference/yearly general meeting (AGM) of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Nigeria, held in Lagos with “Sustainable Innovations I-n Global Logistics and Transport,” as theme.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said the current global trends in transportation is engendering innovations to reduce the heavy dependence on fossil fuels, which is the cause of high level of CO2 in the air and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reduce freight logistics turnaround time and noise pollution.
Sambo, while declaring the conference open, said there had been innovations geared at converting freight vehicles to use sustainable fuels and employing advanced information and communication technologies for more efficient logistics.
He said others are implementing new organisational concepts in combination with innovative vehicles to achieve optimum and sustainable use of resources.
Sambo, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Research and Statistics, Ibrahim Muhammed Biu, noted that the Federal Government is making concerted efforts to establish critical transport infrastructure to ensure sustainable transport and logistics.
He said the ports reform programme aimed at decongesting the seaports by taking shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters, adding that measures are being put in place to ensure ease of doing business at the ports.
According to him, there has been a massive shift in the connection of the rail, road and maritime subsector to reduce road traffic congestion and increase the competitive edge of the transport and logistics sector.
He said a lot still needs to be done to develop the logistics and transport industry in the country.
He called on transport researchers and regulators to collaborate and mine innovative strategies that would aid the transportation sector’s development.
Sambo, however, lauded the CILT for its consistency in enhancing efficiency in the logistics and transport sector by developing the capacity of men and women in the art and science of Logistics, Transport and Supply Chain Management.
Speaking earlier, the National President CILT Nigeria, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, said the conference is apt especially when the world is moving towards decarbonisation, adding that it keys into the global conversation about sustainability principles in how businesses, in particular, the logistics and transport sector are conducted.
Usoro said the conference, which has in attendance, policymakers, legislators, transport and logistics operators, academics, lawyers and students, will have an outcome of collaborative work in content development to position the country positively in the global Logistics Performance Index (LPI).
Also speaking, a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Adebayo Sarumi, said transport infrastructure remains germane to the promotion of economic growth, an improved standard of living, poverty reduction, enhanced productivity and improved competitiveness.
He said Nigeria is currently faced with huge infrastructural gaps that have hindered its desire to exploit its rich natural and human resources.
Sarumi, a one-time Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, said the transport and logistics sector is currently undergoing major transformation given the trend of technological innovations.
The Director General/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Dr. Bayero Salih-Farah, urged stakeholders to make global logistics and transport not only smart and timeless, but also environmentally friendly, economically viable, and cost-effective in terms of planning, management and operation now and in the nearest future.
Salih-Farah, who was represented by Director of Research and Intelligence, NIIT, Dr. Joshua Odeleye, said many nations, including Nigeria, are still struggling with managing carbon blueprint resulting from transport and logistics-related activities.
He said many experts are overwhelmingly united on the view that transport and logistics activities ranked higher amongst the largest contributing factors to Greenhouse Gas emissions, which threatens the health of millions of humans and the environment world-wide.
He said it is worth noting that the deployment of sustainable innovations and technologies in global logistics and transport would help authorities to address real-time safety and security challenges synonymous with the transport operations.
Salih-Farah also called for investment on digital transport infrastructure such as unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to monitor the movement of oil tankers in Nigeria’s coastal waters, departure and arrival of train services, among others, across the country.
“We, therefore, need to continually prioritise investment in new areas of transport and logistics skills, knowledge and information. This will keep us abreast of developments in the world of transport and logistics.
“We must sincerely commit ourselves to, as we aspire to promote sustainable innovation in global logistics and transport; namely: rebuilding of mass transit systems; multi-modality; renewable energy use; an adequate supply of green mode (walking and cycling) infrastructure; building of climate resilient transport infrastructure; investing in new technologies that reduce emission; and priority funding of a National Transport Data Ecosystem (National Transport Databank) a one-stop shop for a real-time transport data sharing and integration among stakeholders in the Industry in Nigeria, primarily for monitoring and performance evaluation of all modes,” he said.