FG to develop efficient transport sector through PPP: Minister of Transportation

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to develop an efficient transport system that would encourage investment into the country. Amaechi spoke in Abuja Monday at the 1st International Transportation Conference organised by the Transportation Growth Initiative, TGI, with the theme, “Improving Infrastructure for Sustainable and Efficient Transportation.” He said the current investment climate of the country was not good enough to encourage foreign investments, adding that an efficient transportation system was imperative to favorable investment climate. The minister said government was determined to open up every state of the federation to rail lines by linking the existing line with the new ones to be constructed. He explained that the Lagos- Kano standard rail gauge, the Lagos-Calabar coastal line and Port Harcourt narrow gauge were expected to link all the state capitals. He said: “The fulcrum of the diversification process of the current government is that we must develop our transportation system because if we don’t, we cannot diversify the economy. “You cannot even deal with the issue of solid minerals if you ignore transportation. “One of the main reasons why most of these investors are not interested in the Nigerian investment climate as it ought to be is because the transport infrastructure is not there. “We are doing intermodal transportation, but we are conscious of our responsibility as a government to ensure that Nigerians are able to move their goods around and outside the country. “An investor has agreed to invest over $3bn to take the central line from Abuja to Warri and build a deep seaport there under the Public Private Partnership, PPP arrangement,” he said. Amaechi also disclosed that the government was doing its best to provide infrastructure in the maritime sector, explaining that the construction of the Lekki seaport would commence in January 2017. He said government was also addressing the problem of insecurity in the coastal lines to encourage investors to go to other coastal regions to develop seaports. According to the minister, the Federal Government has contacted a coastal security outfit to handle the issue of sea pirates. Chairman of TGI and a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka, called on the government to develop a road map for the provision of efficient transport infrastructure.     Source: nationalmirroronline