The Director General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, (NIIT) Bayero Farah has expressed concern over low funding by the government and lean Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that the transport sector contributes to the nation’s economy.
Farah while speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at a 2 day National Conference organized by the institute on Transportation Infrastructure Development Financing in Nigeria noted that Logistics and Transportation contributes below 5% of the GDP which is extremely low compared to what is obtainable in other climes.
“Looking at the Nigerian scenario, Logistics and Transportation contributes below 5% of the GDP, it is therefore, not out of place to say that the transport sector in Nigeria is not contributing enough to the economic development and growth as well as the Gross Domestic Product of the Country, due largely to inadequacy of the transport infrastructure compared to what obtains in countries like Brazil, Singapore and Turkey where transportation is contributing significantly to the economy and GDP of these countries”.
According to Farah, the role of transportation in the socio-economic development of any nation cannot be over emphasized as transport plays an important role in the economy with critical instrument necessary for development of other sectors.
“It is the Veins and Arteries of the economy and remains the fulcrum of development in any nation. For instance an efficient transportation system reduces costs in numerous economic sectors, but lack of it increases the costs of production and services”.
Meanwhile, Farah assured that with the current concerted efforts of the present administration towards providing and revamping existing transportation infrastructure and the expected private sector participation, things will change for the better in no distant future.
He posited that given the current economic realities, where the government sources of funding are being threatened by unstable oil revenues and the myriads of other challenges, there is the need to address the nation’s problem of funding transport infrastructure development head on.
“In a recent report, the World Bank had observed that Nigeria requires about $14.2 billion annually to fund its infrastructure development deficit”.
Farah explained that the over two hundred million Nigerians across the length and breadth of the country are yearning for more transport infrastructure development to ease their movements and promote their living conditions and businesses.
He further noted that with the creams of experts at the conference, they shall do justice to the topic of discussion and find a more sustainable funding alternatives for the development of transport infrastructure as deliberations will be drawn from global best practices and recommend alternative approaches to sustainable funding mechanisms for the development of the nation’s logistics and transport system.