Smart transportation system requires collaborative efforts – Minister

As the world adopts smart transportation system for a more efficient movement of goods and services, Minister of Transportation, Sen. Saidu Ahmed Akali has stated that zones, states and local governments must work together for the project to succeed.

The Minister made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja during the inauguration and orientation summit of Nigeria Transportation Commission Forum with the theme: The Dynamics of a Smart Transportation System; The National and Sub-National Outlook.

The Minister who was represented by the Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Ibrahim Musa said that Transport is now being operated with Smart Technology adding that current transportation system requires network and synergy between geopolitical zones and states.

He said, “Daily we use and interact with a whole lot of smart devices called Apps, solution providers, which are pointers to the fact that the transportation sector also need an upgrade in the operation and management otherwise, mobility of persons goods and services within a commensurate time will be a difficult venture.

“In an intermodal and multi-jurisdictional sector like the transport sector, being able to broker such form of collaborative platforms such as this is already a smart innovation and initiatives in as much as these innovation or initiative is a solution or part of the solutions were asking for”.

Alkali said that there is an urgent need to upgrade of the Transportion system. He encouraged transport operators to go into partnership and pull resources together to invest into mass transit buses.

“We must lower individualism and leverage our corporate strength by going into joint cooperation and partnership. So the dynamics of smart transportation system is not like software we order from the United States of America or China.

“The last amendment of the Constitution has moved the railways to the concurrent list where states and the Federal Capital Territory has the jurisdiction. But if we all want to handle railway development, as individual states, we can go ahead and do that now.

“I am looking at a situation where a geopolitical zone or two will have a joint economic summit and perform together or jointly partner with private investors to put locomotives in the region to improve trade and regional integration. This effort can be towards establishing a sustainable public transport mass transit by a geopolitical zone where they will go for a fleet of 200 electric vehicles or CNG or LNG buses.

“It is crucial to remember that after the election and political campaigns, we must think outside the box and consciously decide to wholeheartedly tell our principles, the truth concerning adapting and embracing innovative ideas and technologies that can unite our infrastructure and transportations with smart transportation that we know are transformative. It enhances the way we travel, commute and connect with one another. It holds the key to enhancing efficiency, reducing congestion and improving safety across our national and sub national networks.

“Through smart systems we can create seamless, integrated and multimodal transportation for all like we see in other countries of the world. The present administration and the present Ministry of Transportation understand the importance of smart transportation system because it works better on an integrated infrastructure environment. Hence, we are poised to see that all the seaport are connected by rail, dry ports and inland waterways including international airports”.

Also in her address, the Executive Secretary of the Forum, Chinwe Uwaegbute said that the Forum is a platform for commissioner to share their vision for a smart Transportation System.

“We gather here with a shared vision to bridge the knowledge gap and foster closer collaboration between the states and the Federal Ministry of Transportation. This orientation program marks a significant milestone on our journey towards a more connected and efficient transportation network for our nation. We stand at a critical junction today, where the dynamics of our urban transportation system needs to undergo transformational shifts.

“The conference serves as a platform for policymakers, government officials, industry experts, transport operators and other relevant stakeholders from the public and the private sector to come together for deliberations and on various transportation related issues, policies and strategies”.

Also in her goodwill message, Chairman House Committee on Land Transportation, Hon. Onu Blessing represented by Hon Philip Agbese said that transportation is a indispensable human activity. He assured that the parliament will give the new idea a full backing.

The Director General of Nigeria Inland Water Authority (NIWA), Chief George Muoghalu said that there must be deliberate efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that all the players play by the rule.

Present at the event were President, The Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria, Prince Segun Obayendo; former Corps Marshal Federal Road Safety Commission Boboye Oyeyemi, a representative of Niger State governor Hon. Mohammed Bago and commissioners of Transportation from all the states of the federation.

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