The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), has commended the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for its stewardship towards rehabilitation, maintenances and constructions on some major roads in the country.
The National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kasim Ibrahim Bataiya, gave the commendation while briefing newsmen at the opening ceremony of the Association’s second Quarter Convention holding in Minna, the Capital of Niger State, North-Central Nigeria.
The National president said in 2015, one billion Naira was budgeted for capital projects and the Federal Ministry of works and in 2016, about three hundred and fifty billion was budgeted for capital project on roads alone. He added that this increase in allocation by the government deserves to be applauded.
’’You cannot even compare one billion Naira and Three Hundred and Fifty Billion, 2015 and 2016; and not only that, if you go to where these money were allocated today you can see work is ongoing. All the projects where money was allocated on our Nigerian roads… and bridges today, you can see contractors on site working seriously” Alhaji Bataiya stated.
NARTO also re-emphasised its willingness to collaborate with governments at all levels and all other stakeholders to see to the continued maintenance of all Nigerian roads.
According to Alhaji Kasim Ibrahim Bataiya NARTOs contribution to Nigeria’s economy cannot be underestimated as the level of economy of every country is assessed by the efficiency of its Transportation system.
“Our contribution to the economy is numerous because without transporters even you cannot be here. The movement of passengers, goods and services cannot hold without the transporters; In Nigeria 90 percent transportation of passengers, good and services rely and depend on road transportation, and 98 percent of movement of petroleum products today depends on road transportation.
This would tell you how much NARTO contributes to the development of Nigerian economy, in addition to providing employment for Nigerians, the mechanics, Vulcanizers, spare-parts sellers…the import duties we pay contributes to revenue generation in the country.
He however urged governments at all levels to address issues of security, operating and replacement cost and unnecessary premium placed on goods transit which he says causes havoc to the efficiency of their activities.
In his remark, Niger state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello who was represented by the Head of Service to the state Alhaji Suleman Yabagi, said that Niger state government is currently putting in place some measures to address some of the challenges mentioned by NARTO president.
In another development NARTO has expressed its readiness to comply with the implementation of speed limit device introduced by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on commercial vehicles and heavy Duty Trucks in Nigeria.
Alhaji Kasim Bataiya said the speed limit device is a welcome development by NARTO, because of the accident rate in the country.
“Road accident today kills Nigerians more than even HIV/AIDS and any other disease in Nigeria. So if the Federal Road Safety Commission can come up with a device that would control the speed of drivers on the roads, I think it is a welcome development that NARTO cherishes”, he stated.
Earlier, The FRSC Corp Marshall Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, who was represented by the state Commandant, Mrs. Suzan Ajange, appreciated the cooperation given to road safety by NARTO, and emphasised the need to continue collaborating with the agency to reduce the rate of accidents in the country.
She urged road users to comply with the FRSC project which President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered to commence implementation by 1st October,2016.
The FRSC commandant explained the advantage of the speed limit device and also urge NARTO members to comply with the deadline.
“We are all aware that speed is the major cause of crashes. It accounts for more than 60 percent of the crashes; and because of that we have come out with a new innovation of a way to limit drivers from over speeding.
She explained that Road Safety would not install the devices, rather vehicle owners would purchase install the devices themselves.
The Nigerian Road Transport Owners (NARTO) is the umbrella body of all commercial Transport owners and operators in the country engaged in the movement of goods and passengers from one place to another throughout Nigeria and West Africa.