Transport sector restructuring crucial to Nigeria’s economic prosperity, says Oni
To achieve the transport component of the Vision 2020, and place Nigeria on the path of economic prosperity, a Professor of Transportation Geography, Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Samuel Iyiola Oni, has called for restructuring of the sector.
This, he said, would be done using spatiotemporal approach, without which every other effort to tackle challenges of the sector will continually be fruitless.
Delivering the inaugural lecture series at UNILAG, titled, “A Spatio-Temporal Restructuring of Transportation System In Nigeria,” Oni also highlighted that institutional reforms in the sector is also critical in the restructuring process.
He said since transportation is life, without which nothing can do, all the key players in the road, rail, maritime and aviation sector should come together and synergise, as the nation’s economy will benefit from that golden alliance.
He said: “The starting point for transport restructuring in Nigeria therefore, is the generation of sound, qualitative and up-to-date data. Without this, research, planning and development in this sector will only continue to be guesswork, and planning would continually be done on erroneous scales.
An effective, efficient, coordinated and integrated multimodal transportation system is the ultimate for a sustainable Lagos megacity and Nigeria’s development.
“If we get it right in the transport sector, that is prosperity for Nigeria’s economy, otherwise, we keep on having high cost of agricultural product and then you cannot liberate the natural resources that are hidden in the system. The resultant derivate or our restructuring and transformative model prognosis will be mobility sustainability, higher living standards, fuller employment of resources, reduced income inequality and poverty, and consequently heightened economic growth rates and social development.”
Urging the Federal Government to complete the road sector reforms and establish a road authority and a road fund, he also challenged them to review and strengthen the enabling transport policy, as doing so would enhance best world practice in the administration of road network development and management in the country.
There was also a call at the lecture for the creation of the National Transport Commission and Federal Roads Authority, which the lecturer explained will improve service delivery in the sector, rejuvenate institutional structures, delineate policy functions, involve private sector in financing and managing the sector. The agency will also aid in the implementation of the improvements needed to achieve the transport component of Vision 2020.
The 61-pages lecture also highlighted the contemporary problems in rural, intra-urban and regional travels, counselling that a structure must be put in place with appropriate comprehensive guidelines and infrastructure, so as to achieve liveable urban, rural and regional transportation and modal systems in a coordinated and integrated manner.