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‘Transport sector contributes only two per cent to GDP’

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Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam

Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has described the transport sector as a goal-mine, but with the abysmal low contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Aniebonam, at the convocation ceremony of the Institute of Transport and Management Technology, recently in Lagos, blamed the low yield on the government’s inability to maximise the inherent potential of the sector.

Speaking on the theme: “Transport Sector’s Contribution to the Gross Domestic Product in Nigeria – Problems and Prospects”, Aniebonam said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed in its 2017 record that the road transport, which includes road, water, air, and rail, accounted for 94 per cent of the entire transport service, followed by water and air with 2.2 per cent each, while rail and pipeline transport accounted for the least with less than one per cent of the transport service.

But while transportation accounted for between six per cent to 12 per cent of GDP in advanced countries, the reverse has been the case in Nigeria with the sector’s contribution to the GDP fluctuating between two and three percent, according to CBN’s 2015 report.

He blamed the ineffectiveness of the sector on concentration on-road transportation, which conveys 95 percent of all the nation’s goods and passengers, culminating into the damage to roads by heavy trucks among others.

Aniebonam also lamented the past negligence of the railway sector, which has led to the deterioration of the sector as he attributed the ineffectiveness of ports and maritime transport to poorly maintained equipment and high cost of doing business in the sector.

This is not unconnected with multiple taxation and levies imposed on operators, which “has unfortunately led to the diversion of cargo to other countries within the West African region.”

He advised the government to invest heavily in transport infrastructure with adequate funding, discourage excessive and high freight and fare charges, co-opted into the system, integrated and coordinated multi-modal transportation among others as the way forward.

The Institute of Transport and Management Technology (formerly Institute of Air Travel and Maritime Studies) on the occasion graduated over 100 students with Diploma and higher Diploma certificates in aviation, maritime, transport, logistics, as well as in Management Sciences.

The Rector of the institute, Dr. Lilian Chibor, said the transport sector has the ability to contribute immensely to the GDP, but being hindered by the government not paying attention to bad roads along with other inhibitions limiting the sector’s contribution in those areas like air, rail among others.

Chibor said that the graduates were not just trained for white-collar jobs but to be entrepreneurs with a view to being on their own.


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