The Federal Government on Tuesday described Nigeria’s road transport sector as a completely disoriented industry that required urgent regulation.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, disclosed this in a meeting with a section of automotive manufacturers led by the Chief Executive Officer, BKG Exhibitions Limited and Chairman, Organising Committee of Abuja International Motor Fair, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu.
She said the Federal Government was looking at how best to tackle the problems affecting road transportation across the country.
The minister was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja by the media consultant to BKG Exhibitions, Chidiebere Ugwu, as saying, “I am sure you will agree with me that right now, it (road transport) is unregulated.
“Anybody can put vehicle on the road and call himself a transporter and they are going. Funds are not coming, taxes are not paid, there is no consumer satisfaction, there is no feedback, it is completely disoriented right now.”
Saraki added, “And with the fact that the African Continental Free Trade Area is coming soon, in order for us to compete properly, we need to have a regulated road transportation system for commercial operators, which now come to the manufacturers.”
She stated that it had been figured out that Nigeria had a lot of substandard vehicles on its roads.
“I know that Lome and Cotonou have complained that the vehicles in Nigeria are below the standard. Of the 76,000 trucks registered supposedly, only 17 met the standard,” Saraki stated.
On his part, Agwu stated that the automobile industry was under heavy stress that had been affecting Nigerians in terms of cost of transportation and lack of safety in movement of goods and services due to bad vehicles.
The BKG boss stated that policy inconsistency was one problem that had cost the auto industry a lot of money.
He said, “Companies set up factories to assemble vehicles with billions of naira and the next thing you see is that they change the policy and say you can bring in whatever you want. Where does that work? That is why serious companies actually do not come to Nigeria.”