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Nigeria Ready To Address Post-Subsidy Transport Challenges, Says VP Shettima

He unveiled a transport sector reforms’ blueprint.

Vice President Kashim Shettima has unveiled a bold vision for reforming Nigeria’s transport sector, saying the Federal Government is committed to addressing the transportation challenges Nigerians are grappling with following the removal of subsidy on petroleum products.

Speaking Tuesday in Abuja at the 5th National Summit of the CIOTA, Shettima called for a “collaborative revolution,” with the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIOTA) as the driving force for the blueprint.

Represented by his Special Adviser on General Duties, Dr Aliyu Modibbo, the Vice President acknowledged the crucial role CIOTA plays as the “lifeblood” and “artery” of the nation’s economic and social progress.

He stressed the need for a robust and efficient transportation system that would connect every part of the country and drive socio-economic prosperity.

“I must appeal to you to remain the architects of a robust and efficient transport system and to partake in managing the connection of every part of our nation, for that is the pathway to knitting together the fabric of our socio-economic prosperity,” Shettima said.

The Vice President noted that CIOTA’s objectives align perfectly with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, even as he said none of the government’s eight presidential priorities, from food security to job creation, can be achieved without a functional transportation system.

“Mr. President’s critical points of focus require an efficiently functional transportation system to achieve our mandate. We will find it useful to have suggestions from CIOTA: well-thought-out policy enunciation, transportation infrastructure designs, and effective operational management strategies in all modes of transportation,” he stated.

Shettima called upon CIOTA to provide valuable expertise in the form of policy recommendations, transportation infrastructure designs, and effective operational management strategies across all modes of transportation.

He recognized the technical and managerial skills of CIOTA members, expressing confidence in their ability to build a sector that drives employment, manufacturing and production within the industry.

The Vice President acknowledged various concerns raised by CIOTA, including road construction materials, local airline viability, rapid rail development, pipeline security, and waterway navigability, assuring CIOTA of an open door to the government for collaborative problem-solving.

According to him: “We are offering you an open door to the government where we can work together to understand your fears and needs as we redeem the cross-cutting issues of energy pricing, green energy, funding strategies for various aspects of the transportation project, workable modalities for public-private partnerships, safety and security, technology adoption and adaptation”.

Shettima further emphasised the importance of training and attitudinal development for transportation operation personnel, particularly in the road sector, even as he highlighted the need for closer collaboration with transport worker unions and associations to improve the traveling and business experiences of Nigerians.

He continued: “The reality of our post-subsidy removal adjustment, in which you have played quite a critical role to stabilize the nation, isn’t lost to us. This is why we trust your aspirations as we develop more solutions while we keep our doors open for innovative thinking, well-researched, and workable recommendations to tackle emerging governance challenges in your industry.”

The Vice President urged CIOTA to increase its visibility and make its professional voice heard more frequently, while highlighting the role of CIOTA as a strong partner of the government in tackling emerging governance challenges.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

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