Nigerian govt to develop national transportation master plan – Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi, Transport minister, appearing before the Senate
Rotimi Amaechi, Transport minister, appearing before the Senate during an interview session before he was hired for the ministerial job.

The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it was in the process of developing a national transportation master plan that would help in diversifying the nation’s economy.

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this while briefing journalists after concluding the inspection of ongoing projects and facilities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Mr. Amaechi was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and other top officials of the ministry.

The facilities inspected by the ministers include the new terminal building at MMIA under construction, General Aviation Terminal and the perimeter fencing around the airport.

They also inspected facilities at the control tower, Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria site.

Other areas visited are Skyway Aviation Handling Company and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company.

“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is in the process of developing a national transportation master plan that will be implemented as a fulfillment one of his campaign promises to diversify the national economy while improving non-oil sector revenues.

“While reducing dependence on oil revenues, it will also develop the rural economy, reduce unemployment and urban drift,” Amaechi said.

He said the transportation sector held the key to any economy and formed the basis of all socio-economic interactions, adding that Nigeria was suffering the bane of inadequate transportation.

He said the contribution of the transport sector to the Gross National Product, which is only 1.41 per cent, is unacceptable.

The minister said: “For a sector that plays a major role in the nation’s development, there is an urgent need to exploit the opportunities that abound within the sector to improve its contribution to the national economy.

“Countries like South Korea and Singapore have built their economies around a vibrant transportation sector.

“Although Nigeria is blessed with multiple modes of transportation that is the envy of many, these potentials have largely remained untapped.

“Our air transport and railways sub-sectors hold the key to unlocking the vast potential in our cities and rural areas.

Mr. Amaechi said Mr. Buhari’s administration is determined to fully exploit the potential in the transportation sector.”

He said that the government, as a first step, would pursue the enactment of legislation that would open up the sector to new investments that would lead to economic prosperity.

Mr. Amaechi said among the bills ready for legislative action was the National Transport Commission Bill – an act to provide for the establishment of a National Transport Commission as an independent multi-modal economic regulator and other related matters.

He said the government was determined to revamp the railway sector to enhance national integration by encouraging mass transit of passengers and goods between and across the geographical regions of the country.

“The immediate impact will be the reduction of haulage of heavy cargoes by roads thus reducing road damage and increasing the life span of roads.

“The movement of petroleum products by rail will be re-introduced in 2016. As you are aware, we have commenced and almost completed the narrow gauge rehabilitation which will be retained for the movement of cargoes.

“At the same time, massive investments into the standard gauge to link most parts of the country with faster trains for passenger movements have begun.

“In 2016, we hope to complete work on the Abuja-Kaduna railway line as Mr. President is highly committed to it.

“Work will start in earnest on the standard gauge on the following routes: Calabar-Lagos line, which will transverse the following towns and cities: Obudu Cattle Ranch-Calabar-Uyo-Aba-PH- Yenagoa-Otuoke-Yenagoa-Ughelli-Sapele-Benin-Agbor-Asaba-Onitsha-Benin-Ijebu Ode-Ore-Sagamu-Lagos Seaports; and the Lagos-Kano: Lagos-Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna-Kaduna-Kano.”

He said the construction of new lines and rehabilitation of old railway lines will generate over 250,000 direct jobs and more indirect jobs, while having multiplier effect on economic activities.

Mr. Amaechi further disclosed that the ongoing airports remodelling projects at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt would be concluded in 2016.

“The new terminal in Lagos will generate additional 15 million passengers annually, making a total of 30 million passengers yearly nationwide.

“The medium and long term plans will require significant investments to upgrade and expand infrastructures to meet current and future requirements.

“As a result of limited resources for capital projects development, government is exploring the possibility of private sector participation to towards the realisation of the industry’s potentials,” he said.

Mr. Amaechi also reiterated the need for the regulatory agencies to ensure the required safety standards at all times, stressing that the government would continue to invest in providing critical safety facilities.

On the maritime sector, he said government would implement policies that encourage private sector participation and investments towards diversification and growth of the nation’s economy.

“Government will streamline all the agencies in the maritime sector for a more effective and efficient performance to meet the expectations of all stakeholders,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Sirika said the ministry would soon meet with airline operators in the country to address the challenges facing the industry.



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  • PolyGon2013

    Sai Rotimi Ameachi.

    • Otile

      Say sai Rotimi Oyenusi.

      • PolyGon2013

        Sai Rotime Oyenusi Otile. See, I added another great name to it.

  • Uzomah Samuel

    CRA ,the man with plan, i hail you officially .

  • Romberg

    So Nigeria never heard a transportation masterplan since 1960? What will be the target of the plan – is it 2019 or 2050? Perhaps we could ask Ameachi to define transportation – he should be able to know this if he doesn’t know how to define corruption to a corrupt senate. He talked about rail and airports, but he failed to mention a word on waterways. Imagine a good seaport in the southeast?

    Ameachi expects Lagos airport to accomodate 30million passengers anytime soon – what will be the destination of the 100% increase in visitors to Nigeria – Sambisa forest or biafraland? By the way, with 15million passengers now using Lagos airport, where is all the income generated from this?

    Tell me any country in the world with tropical conditions that transport refined oil via rail? With what type of locomotives, a beg?

    • joe


  • zit

    there has always been a “national transportation master plan…” quit trying deceiving us… implementation has always been the problem.
    well, he probably doesn’t know because he didn’t even know we had trains in Nigeria…

    • Du Covenant

      No need to comment if you have nothing meaningful to add to this forum. I wonder where you were when we had a drunk in charge who left the country adrift? With the exception of Aganga and Adesina who did anything to impact positively the lives of ordinary Nigerians?.

      • Damilola

        Haahaa do you av conscience at all or you’re just a nonentity?? Where we’re u when this same man commissioned some projects executed under the previous administration and said deceitfully, he never knew such things existed. This same man said in that address and again in this very one, he promised that ongoing projects wud be completed. Are those projects he’s deemed to complete, the 1983 projects of Buhari- if at all he had one, or what are u saying? that ofNow in what you just read, what’s the new master plan? Plz tell me in case I’m missing somti here.

  • Proud Yoruba

    Privatize everything! Airports and rail, the whole lot! Govt is useless to create and run them profitably anyway. ONLY privatize it to Nigerian citizens, we don’t need foreigners running our airports and railway.

    If consortiums own them and have to make a profit, they will be better run. Let govt get back on o business of setting policies, making laws and regulating the private sector. This is one quick way to cut out corruption fast.

    The private sector will do better feasibility studies to ensure success and profitability, routes will be chosen and developed based on viability and not ethnocentric sentiments, Afterall Ogunlesi is successfully running Gatwick airport in England, why do we not believe in our own people? I am so tired of Nigerian parasites! Privatize everything!