Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, on Monday said the transportation sector once fully utilised, would bail Nigeria out of the current recession.
Speaking at the 15th National Council on Transportation in Sokoto yesterday, Amaechi said the sector can contribute immensely in boosting socioeconomic activities as well as pulling Nigeria out of recession.
He noted that the sector constitutes a significant factor in the sustainable development of any economy through the facilitation of the movement of goods and persons, promotion of social cohesion, integration and unity of the country.
According to him, the sector remain the only one that provides link to the markets , the industrial centres, the extractive industries as well as the agricultural sector
He said the transport sector promotes the development of any product within the vicinity it has comparative advantage because of linkage of the products produced to all respective markets in the country.
“The sector links the people in the North to the South and the East to the West. We are the sector that promotes the development of any product within the vicinity it has comparative advantage because we link the product to markets,” he said.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, said the federal government made a modest stride in linking Apapa port to rail and bonded containers are currently being transported by rail from Apapa port to Inland Container Nigeria Limited Depot in Kaduna.
“The plan is to connect all seaports, some airports and all the Inland Container depots by rail.
The vision is for a farmer in Sokoto to be able to send his goods from his farm by road to the nearest inland container depot where it would be carried by rail to one of the seaports for export to Europe, America and Asia,” he added.
In a remark, the state Deputy Governor, Ahmad Aliyu, called on the federal government to extend railway line from Kauran Namoda to Sokoto as well as the establishment of inland container deport at Illela Local Government Area of the state.
He called for collaboration among stakeholders in the transport sector with a view to enhancing transportation business in the country.