• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria’s economy: Driving a more responsive transport system in emergency situations

Transport activities contributed 1.35% to nominal GDP in Q2 – NBS

The importance of having a sustainable transportation system is very key to economic development in Nigeria. This is because it needs a structure that can be maintained over time as well as add more value to its growth, the lives of the citizens and can deliver the desired results over a short period of time.

Sustainable transportation is very strategic to the growth of the economy and be able to positively impact on the environment, promote climate change, boosts economic growth as well as drive energy supply. Also, it must have reliable and dependable components for evaluating transport sustainability, which includes the type of structures used to build road, water, railway, pipeline and air transport.

For instance, the effect of climate change to transport systems is one of the greatest challenges facing transportation globally, and is one of the reasons transport leaders in Nigeria need to pay more attention to sustainability goals. This is because it increases the risks of disrupting the performance of the sector as well as disrupt supply chain, performance and profitability.

Nowadays especially since the disruption of global economies by COVID-19, developed nations are all streamlining and adapting their transport systems in such a way that would enable it more resilient to withstand all forms of challenges and be more sustainable, this is because COVID 19 has now made transport stakeholders to realize how important the seamless urban movement of goods and services truly is.

Societies do need regular supply of food, medical supplies and emergency goods with minimal delays or restrictions and mobility service provider’s (MSPs) responses to COVID-19 have also shown that with the right combination of mobility options and public-private partnerships strategies, people can travel safely to where they need to go and deliveries can be made on time.

Read also: Adewale Raji: Driving a regional conglomerate for economic development in S/West

While in the past years we have seen the rise of mobility as a service (MaaS), the COVID-19 pandemic has served as an opportunity for the MaaS ecosystem to be more robust, efficient as well as demonstrate its value although the structure is still evolving.

COVID-19 pandemic has also made transport systems to innovate better and be more creative as well as make transport systems to be able to maximize available opportunities that exists in public-private partnerships, which has proven to be very effective on the way forward for the industry as well as create better integration that would ensure supply of goods and services meets demand, while also creating a more agile mobility system, when emergencies and disaster occurs.

Also analysing transportation from an environmental stance, we can say it is the potential longevity of vital human and ecological support systems such as the planet’s climatic system, systems of industry, forestry, agriculture, fisheries and human communities in general and the various systems on which they depend. Sustainability relates to society, economy and environment.

Nigeria’s transportation system can be considered as performing below standard when compared with nations with lower population and natural resources but are having higher GDP contribution to their nation economy and from the point that it is the largest economy in Africa 2019. It is important for Nigeria to build a more resilient and sustainable transport system that would help it boosts economic growth as well as attract more investments to its economy, create more businesses and employment opportunities.

A more sustainable transport sector would stimulate growth of the sector because it would ensure continuity and longevity. The poor performance of the sector can be traced to deficiencies in modern transport infrastructure, lack of professionalism within the industry, lack of use of modern technology to drive the system, lack of modern communication equipment and security systems to monitor inherent challenges and anomalies across all the modes as well as fix and block these leakages. Nigeria is losing billions of dollars annually as a result of these leakages.

Nigeria’s transport sector has the potential of creating diverse business and employment opportunities if well managed as well as having the ability of opening up the economy as a result of the recession our economy recently slide into. Also for our economy to be more sustainable it would require hiring professionals with the right knowledge, skills, exposure and network as obtained globally.

So far it can be considered that the performance of Nigeria’s transportation sector is unsustainable, this is because of the high number of deaths, injuries and fatalities regularly caused by accidents, kidnappings, robberies etc across the different modes due to poor roads, lack of modern infrastructure, inadequate communication devices, poor training and retraining of personnel.

All these are responsible for the regular traffic congestion, high level insecurity, high pollution rate, lack of proper maintenance of our infrastructure, ocean pollution due to oil spills and other major challenges that exists across the different modes.

Nigeria’s economy and the transportation sector are inseparable, thus lacks an efficient system equipped with modern policies, personnel with the right skills and knowledge that would enable it overcome the current challenges as well as plan properly.

In addition, the use of modern technology system would help in forecasting and also adapt swiftly to changes to make the sector more resilient as well as become more responsive to changes capable of affecting it. Also, transportation is one of the most important elements of economies that has direct impact on economic development and the welfare of the citizens.

Therefore, when transportation systems are efficient, it facilitates social economic opportunities that result to multiplied effects of the economy in areas such as better accessibility to markets, reduced idle time, creation of business and employment opportunities, attracts foreign and local investments opportunities. Summarily a sustainable transportation system reduces costs, stimulates economies, creates business and employment opportunities.

The sector also plays a very strategic role in Nigeria therefore, the government needs to give the sector more attention as well as leverage on it to diversify the economy. It is also worthy of note to highlight that the sector has both direct and indirect impacts to the economy while direct impacts relate to accessibility where transport enables products from the rural areas to get to the cities, saves time and ensure safety. Indirect impacts relate to the multiplier effects to the economy where the price of commodities, goods or services are reduced or increased due to demand and supply.

Transportation facilitate movement of goods and services as well as boosts the service industry, so creating a more sustainable transportation system would increase demand in transportation services across all the different modes as well as increase productivity of the sector. It would also increase the sector contribution to the nation’s GDP and add more value to the life of the citizens.

Achieving a more sustainable transport system would also require that hiring professionals to run the different transportation institutions should be purely based on merit as obtained in developed nations such as Australia, Canada, United States of America, UAE, China etc

Summarily, the best man qualified for the job should be given the opportunity to serve for the sector to be more sustainable while performing its statutory function for which it was created. Also, it is also important we review some of our old policies due to modernization and changes that has occurred over the years, as well as adapt and tailor it to be more flexible.

While it is important to analyze some of the areas where our nation transport lags behind due to poor management, the best time to close these gaps is now especially because of the current economic recession we are going through.

Therefore, leaders at the nation’s helm of affairs need to urgently organize a national stakeholder summit and brain storming session to address the current challenges to develop a blueprint that would develop strategies and solution to manage the current challenges as well as set targets and milestones that would build a more sustainable transportation system.