By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to ensure harmonized standards in cost and guarantee efficiency in the nation’s road haulage system, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA) Nigeria will push for the passage of a bill known as Carriage of Goods by road.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello proposed this while making the keynote address at the ongoing national transport summit organized by the CIoTA.
“We must adjust our transport system in Nigeria. How much does it cost to convey a container load of goods from Maiduguri to Kano? Nobody knows because there is no indication to show how much it would cost. There is no regulation, no standardization or liability regime if there was an accident” Bello said.
Admonishing the professional body to partner the Council in advocacy for the new bill to guarantee standardization in road transportation, Bello said; “The reason we don’t have certified trucking systems with modern truck transit parks is as a result of absence of professionals. Nigeria is in competition with the rest of the world. We can’t live in isolation and our transport system says a lot about the nation. Modern transportation system affect the economy just as lousy transport systems also affect the economy”
Bello stressed that there was a connection between transportation and the economic development of every nation.
“Transportation is central to every nation’s economy. However, the contribution of Nigeria’s transport sector to economic growth isn’t acceptable. CIoTA should look at the nation’s economy and situate transport solutions to address the challenges” Bello said.
He said NSC produced the bill to support the carriage of goods by land and eliminate the numerous challenges in the system, assuring that CIoTA would have a role to play in this advocacy and several others in partnership with Shippers’ Council.
The NSC boss also lamented that most challenges in the nation’s transport sector including Lagos port access chaos and obsolete port infrastructure would have been addressed if Nigeria had a focused professional transport body with legal framework like CIoTA.
Meanwhile, the CIoTA President, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has pledged to utilize its charter to create massive employment in the nation’s transport sector.
The CIoTA boss stressed this in his welcome address at the National Transport Summit in Abuja, noting that the Institute would maximize its status as the only chartered professional body to explore strategies to augment employment opportunities in transportation while eliminating touts and unprofessionals across all modes of transportation in the country.
Dr. Jamoh described the attainment of CIoTA Act as a new era for transportation in the country, assuring that the Institute would engage the Ministry of Education to standardize the curriculum of transport courses to guarantee professionalism among transport practitioners.
While commending President Mohammadu Buhari for ground breaking ceremony of the University of Transportation to be cited in the Daura, Kaduna State, he stressed that the development was apt and timely as it underscored the need to enshrine professionalism across all modes of transportation in the country.
In his goodwill message at the event, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Chief George Moghalu admonished the Institute to explore investors for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to deepen the development of river ports and other transport infrastructure.
Moghalu also noted that CIoTA could play a crucial role in the development of holistic policy framework to address the needs of the nation’s transport sector and consequently the nation’s economy.