By Okezie Nnadi
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said the Federal Government holds the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA) in high regard as a professional body the country can rely on for direction in transport policy planning and administration. Osinbajo stated this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the Third National Transport Summit organised by CIOTA, with the theme, “Regulating The Transport Sector In Nigeria: The State of the Art and The Years Ahead.”
The Vice President, who was represented by Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, said the Federal Government would adopt the recommendations of the conference as a critical document for future planning.
Speaking earlier in his address, National President of CIOTA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, advocated the inventorying of the country’s transport assets to aid economic planning.
The Vice President said given the quality of professionals in CIOTA, the Federal Government trusts the institute as a worthy partner in its economic recovery drive.
“You have a role to produce transport professionals who will drive the economy from the point of view of transport and logistics,” Osinbajo stated while declaring open the three-day summit.
“Therefore, government would look up to your Institute for guidance in policy formulation and implementation,” he added.
Osibanjo told CIOTA, “Your role in the transportation sector of the economy is enormous. It is a lead role. As the Institute carries out its statutory mandate of training and certifying transport professionals, as you exercise your statutory powers to regulate and control the practice of professional transport management and administration, your training curriculum and the quality of your graduates are very significant, as the global supply chain goes digital and the world of transport and transportation management thrives on ever-evolving technology and innovations.
“The impressive attendance at this summit and the quality of attendees show that your Institute is well prepared for this role.”
Osinbajo further stated, “From the stellar quality of speakers at this summit, government would expectantly look forward to a rich outcome of the summit with strong recommendations for regulating the transport sector from the point of view of pricing of services, technical quality and safety of transport equipment in a secure environment.”
Jamoh, in his address, stated that the theme of this year’s summit was a renewed call for the country to take stock of its transportation assets to facilitate development planning.
The CIOTA president, who doubles as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said, “This theme is a call to a renewed scrutiny, supervision and stocktaking within the transportation sector.
“Critical regulatory obligations such as transportation safety, quality control, documentation and licensing, information sharing and data mining, professional education and public enlightenment; enforcement of the rules and standardisation of procedures for seamless collaboration amongst statutory institutions with mandates are imperatives for the making of a sustainable and economically viable transport sector in Nigeria.”
Adding that, “It is also time to take stock nationally of all the transportation assets of Nigeria. CIOTA pledges to play a supportive role in this regard. We are officially assuring the government at federal and state levels that the institute’s professional base is ready and at your disposal.
“We believe that proper inventory of our national transportation assets will address the following important concerns: what is our exact national requirement in terms of transportation assets in order to avoid duplication, underproduction or under-investment? We must first ascertain what we need to enable us fill in the gaps.”
The conference, which continues tomorrow, was well attended by experts and stakeholders in the transport sector, including heads of state and federal government agencies and parastatals, private sector operators, and academics.