By Lucy Ogalue
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, said the safety, quality, cost and efficiency of transport services influenced the trading environment of a country.
Bello, who disclosed this during the ground breaking ceremony of the Ultra Modern Truck Transit Park (TTP) in Potiskum on Wednesday, said this also determined the competitiveness of exported and imported goods.
According to him, transport is a critical determinant in the conduct of domestic and international trade with great impacts on national economic growth and development.
“Road transportation is the dominant mode of transportation owing to challenges in our rail system, restricted waterways and expensive air travel.
“Road transport accounts for about 90 per cent of freight movement. Therefore, the safety of cargo on the highway must be given a priority,” Bello said.
According to Bello, TTP is a Modern road transport infrastructure designed for the safety of cargo and standardisation of truck driving.
The NSC boss said it ensured truck operators obtained some measure of safety and comfort while in transit and reduced the rate of road traffic crashes.
While reiterating other benefits of TTP, Bello said the need to enhance the transport value chain in the country necessitated NSC’s involvement in the project.
“Potiskum is known as a mega hub of heavy truck business especially in the North East region of Nigeria.
“It has a vibrant cattle market which is the largest in sub-saharan Africa and it is a major gate to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
“Therefore, the prospects of the project are very bright,” he said.
Bello, however, urged indigenous investors, multilateral lending institutions and other investors across the globe to invest in the project.
The Executive Chairman, Potiskum Local Government Council, Salisu Muktari, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his administrative policies which the state had benefited from.
Muktari added that Buhari’s decision for a TTP in the locality was a wise decision in the right direction.
He further commended the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi in his efforts toward improving rail transport in the country and the NSC boss for collaborating in the TTP project.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yobe State Government and NSC are partnering under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to construct the transportation hub.
The project falls under the States’ Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry and the State government had provided 50 hectares of land as site for the park. (NAN)