Transportation play major role in every economy, and this is more so because there will only be more activities when citizens can easily move from one place to another sealing deals and carrying out transactions. It was on this note that the House of representative recently called on the federal government to review the nation’s mass transit policy, so as to make transportation from one place to another easier for people.
In one of its resolutions on Wednesday March 9, 2022, the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to review the nation’s Mass Transportation Policy and its Management with a view to making transportation affordable and accessible as a social right to all citizens.
The House in its resolution also called on the Federal Government to revive the Urban Mass Transit Scheme in the interest of masses. These resolutions were passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the “Need to Resuscitate the Urban Mass Transit Scheme in Nigeria” brought by Hon. Aniekan Umanah, (PDP, Akwa Ibom).
Presenting his motion, Umanah noted that in 1989, the Urban Mass Transit Scheme was established by the Federal Government to ameliorate transportation challenges in Nigeria, saying the objectives of the scheme were to moderate the national urban transit scheme, alleviate the problems of urban commuters and the general masses as well as lay the foundation for organized mass transit in Nigeria.
“Almost all the States and Local Government Councils in the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as private entities participated in the scheme which greatly improved transportation for the people. Mass Transport Scheme failed due to factors such as poor management and lack of strict processes, which weakened its sustainability. Millions of commuters across the country still experience difficulties in commuting due to insufficient mass transit vehicles thus exposing them to grave dangers such as harassment, kidnappings, and robbery, among other things,” Umanah said.
The House immediately mandated its committee on Land Transport to liaise with relevant stakeholders with a view to establishing policy frameworks that would further improve the transportation sector and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.
In September, 2021, the Kano State Commissioner for Housing and Transport, Mahmoud Sansti, and the Managing Director of Infrastructure Bank, Ross Oluyede, have said the Nigerian transport system is bedevilled by lack of infrastructure and poor investments, among other challenges.
They made the remark during the 16th National Council on Transportation, with the theme ‘Sustainable transportation: A panacea for national development.’
This was contained in a statement titled ‘FG committed to sustainable transport infrastructure to boost economy – Ajani’ by the Federal Ministry of Transportation’s spokesperson, Eric Ojiekwe, It said, “In his remarks, the Kano State Commissioner for Housing and Transport, Mahmoud Sansti, said that transportation is key to achieving economic growth and development.
“He, however, noted that the sector was facing a lot of challenges, hence the need for all stakeholders to proffer lasting solutions.”
Sansti urged participants to work hard in bringing out recommendations that would assist to address the challenges in the sector.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, said in the statement that the Federal Government was committed to providing sustainable transportation infrastructure to boost economic development.
Ajani said, “Transportation has proven to be one of the critical factors of development at the heart of economic growth and prosperity of any nation. Transportation, as the lubricant and engine of economic development, should have its rightful place, if sustainable development is to be achieved.”
“She said the government had embarked on the implementation of a multimodal transport system, a revitalisation programme and massive investment in the sector, despite financial challenges,” the statement added.
With the house’s resolutions, one can only hope that good policy on mass transit beckons.