Transportation is an indispensable sector of every economy, it was in view of this that the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi stressed the importance of an active transport sector towards the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), saying the transport sector and AfCTA are Siamese twins that cannot do without another.
Amaechi gave this explanation recently in Abuja while delivering his keynote address at a conference titled: “The Role of Transportation on AfCFTA)”, saying it was obvious that adequate transportation infrastructure could trigger a country’s economic progress by diversifying production, trade and export.
The event organised by the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation in Abuja.
The Minister said “Transportation provides the vehicle through which the major objective of AfCFTA thrives; that is, creating a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of businesses, persons and investments, promoting regional and continental integration, market access and resources reallocation across sectors and countries.”
He noted that transportation was cross-cutting and permeates many economic sectors, facilitates international trade, supports food security, delivers energy, enables industrial and infrastructural development.
In addition, it generates employment and help in creating prosperity, thereby fulfilling critical economic as well as social functions.
According to him, “the transportation sector is the most critical in implementing trade facilitation, enhancing regional integration and key to every other AfCFTA Protocol.
“Hence, the Nigerian government has embarked on huge transport infrastructure investment across the country to ensure efficiency in the transportation sector. These interventions include massive construction of roads, rail lines with access roads, inland water ports, seaports, new terminals in existing ports, dry ports with access to rail and roads, inland container depots/freights all geared towards building a modern and efficient transportation system that guarantees sustainable socio-economic development of Nigeria, regional integration and trade liberalisation.
“Therefore, the ministry has taken cognisance of the pivotal role transportation plays in AfCFTA implementation and as such, is making concerted efforts in Improving intermodal transportation and trade facilitation by linking major Seaport Ports in the country with rail lines.”
Amaechi, who was represented by the Minister of State, Ministry of Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Ruqqayat Saraki, said the current administration would not leave any stone unturned in its efforts to transform the sector for the benefits of Nigerians.