• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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FG moves to boost transport sector, approves eight draft bills

Nigeria’s transport sector lags most African countries – Report

Apapa-gridlock

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved eight draft bills in line with the transport sector reforms geared at making it private sector driven.

Some of the bills will see to the establishment of new Federal Government agencies and authorities in the transport sector.

The draft bills, which are now ready to be forwarded to the National Assembly for passage, are the National Transport Commission Bill (2015); National Roads Fund Bill; and the Federal Roads Authority Bill.

Others are Nigeria Ports and Harbour Authority Bill (2015); National Inland Waterways Authority Bill (2015); and Nigeria Railway Authority Bill (2015) as well as the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill.

Briefing newsmen after the FEC meeting which lasted for about five hours, Idris Umar, the transport minister, said the reforms in the sector are geared towards instituting a private driven sector.

The Ministry of Transport had at the weekend disclosed that plans were underway by the government to privatise the sector.

Council also approved a National Policy on Staple Crops Processing Zones for the agriculture sector and a bill for the National Agency for the Great Green Wall for the environment sector.

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The National Policy on Staple Crops Processing Zones is an instrument to guide the development, management, and operation of the precessing zones which are central for Nigeria’s drive for rapid diversification of the economy via agriculture.

The policy provides guidelines for, among others, promoting public and private sector investment in infrastructure development such as roads, power, water, ICT, land clearing as well as ensuring price stabilisation mechanisms to balance demand and supply gaps of available raw materials. The policy will also ensure programme funding support through public sector, budgetary allocations, development financing, donor agencies, financial guarantees, among others.

Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State, who had already pioneered the setting up of a staple crops processing zone in Alape, Kabba Bunu Local Council Area of the state, along with the minister of agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, briefed State House correspondents on the food processing bill.

The governor explained that he had earmarked 15 hectares of land for the project which is expected to provide about 10 job opportunities to people of the state.

According to him, “Kogi is the pioneer staple crop processing zone for cassava. We have cassava processing zone in Alape in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

“We have been working closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on this project. We have allocated 15,000 hectares of land, perimeter surveys have been done.

“The local communities are very excited about the project in partnership with Tagel.

“The interests of small holder-farmers are accommodated in the whole project. Settlers in the area are not going to be disrupted, the World Bank is involved so everything is done to international standard.

“We believe that this will transform the rural economy of the Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area and adjoining local government areas in Kogi State.

“There will be massive job opportunities where it is estimated that at least 10,000 jobs will be created when this project takes off fully.”

“Young boys and girls who are unemployed will have opportunity of employment, it will encourage young people to go into agriculture and those already in agriculture will have improved wealth to live better with the infrastructure that will come in. They will have better quality of life and other opportunities that will arise from the cassava staple crop processing zone.

“As a pioneer project, our government has shown very firm commitments and political will for the success of this project and we will do everything to make sure that the project succeeds.