The Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has assured families of kidnapped victims in the recent train attack of Abuja-Kaduna that the ministry is working with security agencies to ensure safety of those kidnapped.
The Minister stated this in Abuja, while sympathising with the families of the victims at the annual Ministerial press briefing.
He noted that security is fundamental to an effective and efficient transport system, and the physical infrastructure as well as security architecture is critical to a safe and sustainable transport system.
Mr. Amaechi who was represented by the Minister of State, Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, said the Ministry of Transportation is committed to ensuring a vibrant, responsive, efficient and effective transport system in the country.
“The ministry is committed to ensuring that the nation has a vibrant, responsive, efficient and effective transport system capable of adequately meeting the needs of a modern, industrial and vibrant economy.
“The core mandate of the ministry is the provision and administration of rail and marine transport infrastructure, road transport and mass transit administration as well as intermodal coordination of all transportation modes in the country,” he said.
The minister listed some of the Ministry’s policies and bills that were under consideration to include; the National Transport Policy, the National Maritime Transport Policy, Road Transport Transformation Programme and National Transport Commission Bill.
Speaking on the challenges facing the Ministry and the way forward, he said there is the issue of paucity of funds, insecurity, the effect of COVID-19 as well as forex volatility; noting that the way forward is the liberalization and commercialization of public transport assets, deployment of modern security technology in all transport corridors, automation of transport operations to reduce human interfaces, as well as provision of grants to transport asset owners.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said the transport sector is the livewire of any economy, and its contribution to the delivery of an economically viable productive and sustainable economy cannot be over-emphasised.
“This has propelled the ministry and its agencies to strive to implement its goals and achieve its best targets through various strategies, policies, programmes and collaboration with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders at home and abroad,” she said.
According to Ajani, the ministry recorded great achievements both in the rail and maritime sub-sector within the period under review, adding that the challenges encountered by the ministry will not deter it, as it is determined to deliver an inclusive and world class transportation system.