NARTO seeks revival of infrastructure to boost transport sector
THE Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has charged the Federal Government to prioritize the revival of collapsed road, refineries and other critical infrastructure in the country.
The President of NARTO, Kassim Bataiya, who was speaking at the pre-National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and award night of the Association in Abuja, specifically appealed to the Ministers of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Transport, Rotimi Amechi, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, to quickly tackle the rot in railways, pipelines vandalism and revival of refineries, which he said are critical to the transport sector.
Also, NARTO appealed to the Senate and House Committee on works, transportation and downstream petroleum sector to harmonize and supervise the activities of the Ministers of Power and Petroleum Resources in order to address the unending energy crisis in the country.
He added: “The Ministers must set to work immediately and resolve the issues of bad roads across the country, fix the rail system and tackle the ineffective power situation.”
Bataiya stressed that the Association has implicit confidence in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver on its electoral mandates and pledged maximum support to the government in its drive to delver good governance.
He said: “We strongly support the anti-corruption campaign of Mr. President and we pledge to continue to play by the rules in line with our resolve to remain a committed and non-partisan organisation poised to deliver transportation services effectively throughout the country. On this note, while congratulating the newly inaugurated ministers, we wish to appeal for quicker response to the country’s infrastructural needs.”
Bataiya also urged government to embark on immediate repair of some major roads across the country and said that the worsening situation of the roads is affecting timely delivery of passengers, goods and services to designated areas.
He also stated that the condition of most roads in the country is responsible for the short lifespan of vehicles used for in the transport sector, which has negatively affected the ability of practitioners to increase their fleets.
He also charged government to go into Public Private Partnership (PPP) in order to ensure proper funding and maintenance of the roads saying government budgetary allocation has proven to inadequate.
The NARTO boss said: “In Nigeria, with 200,000 kilometres of roads that include federal, states and local governments out of which over 35,000 kilometres belong to the Federal Government, it it very clear that about 55 percent to 60 percent of our roads are in serious state of disrepair. However, government should find a way of funding the construction, repairs and mentenance of the road for quick economic growth.”
He listed some of the roads in all the six geo-political zones of the country that are in deplorable condition to include: Eleme-Obigbo road, Calabar- Ikom-Ogoja -Katsina Ala, Calabar-Ikot Ekpene- Aba. Others are Aba-Umuahis, Onitsha- Enugu, 9mile- Otukpa, Owerri-PortHarcourt, Enugu-PortHarcourt in the South East.
For North West zone, ne mentioned Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos, Funtua-Birnin Gwari, Kano-Gwarzo- Daya, Yawuri- Kontagora, some part of Kano- Katsina.
North central are Jebba-Bode-sa’adu-Ilorin, Kontagora-pizzi (Makera), Okene-Lokoja- Abaji.
Also, in South West zone, there are: Apapa-Tincan-Oshodi road, Lagos-Zangon Otta-Abeokuta, shagamu-Ajebandele- Ore- Ikorodu-shagamu, while for North east are Gombe-Biu-little gombi-Mubi, Potiskum-Bajoja-Gombe-Maiduguri-Gamborin Gala, Ngorore-Mayabalwa Jada-ganye, Numan- Jalingo-Wukari-Katsina Ala road, Nguru-Gashua-Garin and Alkali roads.
Bataiya added: “While we are waiting for the new government to settle down, our members continued to offer best services under the prevailing condition and the roads are becoming more deteriorated as accidents are being reported daily, vehicles getting knocked down due to wear and tear all to the disadvantage of our members as well as the national economy. As responsible organisations, we cannot sit and fold our arms watch these roads impact negatively on our hard earned investment. The complete state of disrepair of the roads have constituted and still constituting serious hazards to our drivers and vehicles. Little wonder therefore, that are witness frequently loss of driver’s lives and properties, vehicle breakdown and accidents on these roads on daily basis.”
In his address at the opening session of the NEC meeting, the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello said the FCTA is partnering with NARTO in the implementation of its transportation master plan.
However, Bello who was represented by the Director Admin/Finance, Abdulamid Suleiman Mohammed urged NARTO to enlighten its members on the dangers of disobedience to traffic rules and regulations, especially during the ‘Ember months’.
He explained that the restriction of mini and mid-buses services to feeder routes, restriction of motorcycle and tricycle services to the suburbs are geared towards providing efficient, safe and secure transportation services.
He said: “the enforcement of this reform has engendered great reduction of road crashes on our roads, prolonged the life of our road furniture, curtail environmental pollution as well as increased mass movement of commuters using fewer high capacity vehicles.