Stakeholders chart path to logistics industry growth
Decries govt’s inconsistent policies, OPS participation in funding
Stakeholders have stressed the need for the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to upscale its activities in terms of funding transportation projects across the country.
They submitted that members of the OPS cannot extricate themselves from the failings of the Federal Government in delivering an efficient transportation system to the country, saying they had failed in playing their roles effectively.
Speaking at the Government meets Business forum organised by the Institute of Directors of Nigeria (IoD) in Lagos, with the theme, “Transportation: A Vehicle for Development”, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the private sector players in Nigeria are 99 per cent dependent on government, as such, they cannot be described as investors.
He said government had in the past provided funds for the private sector but such funds were either misused or diverted. Amaechi added that the federal government has opened up the transportation sector completely to the private sector, noting that the aviation and infrastructure at the sea port had been privatised.
According to him, the only area yet to be privatised is the railway. He however said talks are currently ongoing with General Electric to take over the railway sector, disclosing that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had last week approved the concession plan.
He said the proposed concession, when completed would leave the government playing only regulatory functions in the entire transportation sector.
In another development, Amaechi implore the Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to plead with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as a matter of due process, to invoke the presidential powers for the repair of the Apapa Road.
He also noted that the road was being delayed because the ministry that would fix it had not decided, stating it was left for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to award contract for the rehabilitation of the road.
The Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said OPS have not showed ingenuity in terms of matching funds with ideas.
Besides, Peterside noted that unpredictable government policies contribute to the inefficiency of private sectors in delivering utmost responsibilities on investments.
“Nobody will invest where the rules of investment changes every six months. What ordinarily is obtainable in other parts of the world is difficult in Nigeria. Inconsistency of policies is a big challenge for private sector investments; government needs to address this quickly”, he said.
The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, who was represented by the Director of Logistics Planning, Brigadier General Charles Idowu, noted that there are lots of road failures in the country on account of heavy trucks, which need to be diverted to railway.