Monday, December 6, 2021

Nigerian govt to regulate Mass Transit operations – Minister

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Minister of State Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki has disclosed that the federal government is planning to regulate road transportation and mass transit vehicles’ operations in the country.

Ms Saraki made the disclosure on Monday in a meeting with a section of automotive manufacturers led by Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, the Chief Executive Officer of BKG Exhibitions Limited, and Chairman Organising Committee of Abuja International Motor Fair.

According to a report by Daily Trust, Ms Saraki said the decision became necessary in order to reposition Nigeria’s road transportation system ahead of the African Continental Free Trade Area, ACFTA.

The Minister of State lamented that of 76000 trucks registered at the port only 17 met the standard, stressing that Lomé and Cotonou were complaining that Nigerian vehicles are below standard.

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Ms Saraki, however, disclosed that arrangements were being put in place for the federal government to brainstorm with players in the automotive industry, including assemblers and manufacturers, to find a local solution that would move the industry forward.

According to the Minister of State, over 97% of passengers’ movements in Nigeria are done on the road, stressing the need for the government to ensure proper restructuring for better service delivery.

“This afternoon, I was in a meeting that the Vice President chaired and we are looking at how best to tackle the issue of road transportation,” she said.

“I am sure you will agree with me that right now, it is unregulated, anybody can put the vehicle on the road and call himself a transporter and they are going.

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“Funds are not coming, taxes are not paid, there is no consumer satisfaction, there is no feedback, it’s completely disoriented right now.

“And with the fact that ACFTA is coming soon, in order for us to compete properly, we need to have a regulated road transportation system for commercial operators, which now comes to the manufacturers.

“With the ACFTA coming, this morning it came out that we have a lot of substandard vehicles on the roads.

“I know that Lome and Cotonou have complained that the vehicles in Nigeria are below standard. Of the 76000 trucks registered supposedly only 17 meet the standard,” she noted.

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