Stakeholders urge Buhari to assent Transport Sector Reforms Bills
Stakeholders across the country have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the National Road Fund and Federal Road Bills into law and constitute a Presidential Taskforce on the Transport Sector Reform (PTTSR) recommended in the technical reports.
The stakeholders said the bills, which have been rectified and passed by the National Assembly twice, are long overdue to be operational in order to boost economic activities in the country and also attract both local and foreign investments in Nigeria.
The immediate past president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Babagana Mohammed is one of the Nigerians who are currently calling on the President’s assent to the bills.
He said several attempts have been made in the past by the executive branch of government to reform the road sector to no avail, saying that the time is now to enable the country to compete with other countries of the world.
The Guardian learnt that the 8th National Assembly decided, in early 2016, to take the bull by the horn by embarking on a holistic reform of the transportation sector with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, resulting in the bills that emerged from its Chambers.
According to Mohammed, these Bills were subsequently reviewed and passed by the current 9th National Assembly, saying if strategically implemented, the Bills would catalyse the diversification and expansion of Nigeria’s economy.
In his recent letter to Mr. President, he said, “NSE and other stakeholders served on two Technical Committees, amongst others to ensure that the Road Sector Reform Bills.
“National Road Fund and Federal Road Bills were professionally drafted to stimulate a holistic transportation system which would have guaranteed the sustainable wellness and economic competitiveness of Nigeria in the sector.
“The technical committee also re-created the road transport mode which would be a formidable force for re-inventing the economy of Nigeria.”
He noted that the committees did incorporate into the bills, the institutional /legal framework for the management of a world-class road transport mode in Nigeria, which does not exist in the current system.
He urged the President to consider and approve the constitution of the presidential task force on the transport sector reform as recommended in the technical reports in favour of the bills.
He disclosed that an effective and efficient transportation system is a catalyst for accelerated socio-economic development in any nation.
Indeed, he noted, there were evidence-based studies that have confirmed that the absence of a sustained, coordinated and inter-modal management of the transportation systems in any nation contributes about 25 to 30 percent to the cost of production of goods and services in such countries.
He continued: “For more than four decades, Nigeria has failed to carry out a holistic reform of the transport sector, in spite of numerous attempts by various governments and stakeholders to champion policies, bills and programmes aimed at the remarking of the sector.
“The damages this unfortunate scenario has inflicted on the socio-economic growth and development of Nigeria have been serious and colossal. It is, therefore, instructive to note that the 9th National Assembly recognised the compelling need to find solutions to the mitigating factors that had stalled the reform of the transport sector and therefore embarked upon a robust programme to ensure the passage of all the relevant Bills alluded to in paragraph one of the letter.”
The Managing Director, Cosy Learns Ventures, Obiora Chukwunulu, also called on the President to do the needful and sign the bills for the effective transport system in the country.