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FG to reintroduce mass transit scheme

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By Abraham Adekunle

New transport minister reveals plan to use EV to ease transport cost.

Immediately after the removal of subsidy on petrol, the first sector to experience the effect was the transportation industry. This is an area of the economy that depends on the use of petrol for their day-to-day activities. As the government gave oil marketers the freedom to import petrol into the country, the price of the product more than doubled and tripled shortly there after. It was not until after a few weeks that other goods and services began to increase in cost, especially staple foods.

As a result, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) recorded a significant decrease in the daily consumption of petrol both in the northern and southern parts of the country. The result was that more people used transportation less and there was a spike in trekkers. Now that the situation has normalized, people now observe that the once traffic-congested Lagos metropolis is now mostly free of any due to less vehicles plying the roads. Concerned citizens have since the implementation of the policy called for the Federal Government to fix the situation.

Newly inaugurated minister says plans underway to use EV mass transit.

In a bid to ease the cost of transportation in the country, the Federal Government is considering the introduction of electric vehicles into the proposed mass transit scheme in the country. Speaking on August 22, 2023, in Abuja while resuming work, the newly inaugurated minister of transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali, stated that the ministry would reintroduce mass transit system in Nigeria. In his words, “I will ensure a sustainable collaboration with related ministries, agencies and corporate entities to reactivate the road transport and mass transit operations in the Country.”

Alkali explained that given the current hike in transport fares in the country, the ministry’s focus will be on policies that will encourage reduction in the cost of movement for both passengers and cargo. He said that while carefully studying the prevailing economic trends, he will undertake the provision, modernization, rehabilitation, planning and development of the rail transport sector with efficient security services to support the realization of the primary purpose of the government. He said that the initiative will no doubt maximize the potentials embodied in the recent constitutional alterations that moved rail transport services from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.

Minister says transport ministry must lead to support numerous policies.

According to him, the frequent menace on our roads characterized by accidents, kidnappings and armed robbery will be reduced. The minister further noted that the Federal Ministry of Transportation must assume a leading role of improving the public transportation sector to support the numerous policies that are geared towards providing democratic dividends that are accessible to ordinary Nigerians through the effective provision of public transport that is secured, affordable and convenient across the country. For instance, the Abuja-Kaduna rail, which is notorious for being attacked by bandits, would be secure and would serve its economic purpose.

Importantly, he stated that the Federal Ministry of Transportation remained among the few ministries that were established and that continued in existence from colonial period to date with little modification of name given its strategic place as gateway to the nation’s economy. “This might probably explains why the Ministry is undergoing restructuring in response to emerging national economic challenges that require the services of the Ministry,” he said. Furthermore, Alkali pledged that his administration will strive to ensure the realization of the ministry’s mandate and the mandates of agencies under its jurisdiction.

The initiative will work to actualize the “Renewed Hope” mantra.

President Bola Tinubu had in his manifesto used the mantra “Renewed Hope” to promise Nigerians that the country would still work and that having a little bit of hope would help the nation. The minister reiterated that the endeavor will assist to harness the resources of the nation, as well as promote national prosperity and dynamic self-reliant economy that will actualise the “Renewed Hope” of the present administration’s developmental agenda of ensuring an efficient transport system consistent with the socio-economic objectives of the constitution.

Related Link

Federal Ministry of Transportation: Website

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