By Kenneth Jukpor
The Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA) Nigeria has encouraged the federal government to include it in the moves to unbundle the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
CIoTA made this call at its 3rd National Transport Summit which held in Abuja this week, even as the Institute commended the government for its decision to unbundle the NRC.
According to the professional body, the unbundling exercise would lead to more efficiency, increase investments and provide better technical and economic regulation for the nation’s railway sector.
Speaking at the Railway and Pipeline break-away technical session, the Chairman of the technical group, Dr. Kayode Opeifa noted that CIoTA is conspicuously absent, stressing that CIoTA has a crucial role in the unbundling exercise as a body of transport professionals.
The group also that there is a need to have all three tiers of government involved in the unbundling exercise to prevent litigations and leapfrog the 25-year railway masterplan of the government.
They expressed confidence that the railway unbundling exercise would drive efficiency, enhance regulations and open the sector to private investments and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) which would further enhance the performance of the sector.
While commending the government for the railway expansion and reconstruction around the nation, the summit observed that there is a need to connect railways to crucial transport infrastructure like seaports in a bid to attain intermodal transport system.
On pipelines, the summit recommended that the regulation of pipelines be transferred to the Ministry of Transportation, having observed that pipeline is a mode of transport and its utilization should be beyond petroleum products.
Noting the challenge of pipeline vandalism which has grossly affected the utilization of pipeline mode of transport in the country, the summit called for massive awareness and sensitization campaigns in order to curb the menace.