By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: As the 2nd National Transport Summit of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA) holds in Abuja, stakeholders have emphasized on the need to ensure professionalism in the transportation sector.
The Summit with the theme, “Building Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Nigeria: Opportunities, Innovations and Technologies”, had in attendance, stakeholders from the Transport industry from within the country and abroad, with similar objective which is to keep sustainable Transport Infrastructure in Nigeria on the front burner.
In his welcome remarks, the CIOTA President, and Chairman of Council who is also the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh while noting that nothing can be done in life without transport, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Bill establishing the institute in June, 2019.
Jamoh, stated that the passage and assent to the bill, shows that the focus and thinking of the founding fathers of CIOTA is not being in vain, as the Institute can today rub shoulders with any other professional bodies, adding that although CIOTA is new, they are looking forward to starting the journey of making transportation a professional sector where only those that have what it takes will run businesses within the industry.
According to him, “With the new Executives the journey has begun.The journey begins with transport development tripod—Professionalism, Training and Education, and Advocacy.
“The institute will work hard with the government to develop curriculum where individual members of the institute are the only ones recognized to occupy positions of transportation. Professionalism will become paramount and with professionalism, there will be proper infrastructure as well as maintenance. We will develop modules for none professionals to learn and get certified”.
In the aspect of education, he said, “We will draw a curriculum to train and retrain our workforce that centre towards the transportation business, so that they can be abreast of what professionalism in the sector is supposed to be. I hope that with the curriculum, the issue of lack of professionalism will be a thing of the past”.
In the area of advocacy, he stated that it is the duty of CIOTA to monitor, make policies and deliver the deliverables for public good in terms of professionalism, adding that if there are no prerequisite expertise, knowledge and professionals to maintain the existing infrastructure, Nigeria will go back to square one.
While noting that the biggest challenge of the maritime industry lies heavily on maritime security, he challenged the Institute to work in terms of research and development to improve the situation of the maritime industry.
For his part, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, noted that the Transportation sector is not an all comers affair, and the Institute will set standard of practice to determine the knowledge to be attained by persons seeking to practice as professional Transportation administrators.
According to him, “CIOTA has the power to make transportation a key issue, and it is important to look at that transport sector that is able to generate N7 trillion per annum, as doing that will create massive employment.
“Integrated and seamless Transportation institution and improved infrastructure is necessary especially as Nigeria is going into the The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the efficiency of our infrastructure will make us have advantage as it will ease trade”, he said.
Hassan who expressed dismay that in the cost of production 40 percent is spent on Transportation which should not be so, noted that Nigeria cannnot be an import dependent economy for long.
“We need to export and our export must be competitive. We need to develop our infrastructure, we have to get serious about that as infrastructure will support Nigeria as a nation”, he remarked.
The NSC Executive Secretary stressed on the need for professionalism which he said, is part of the agenda of CIOTA, adding that NSC will partner with the Institute to make sure that professionalism runs through the whole iota of what CIOTA objectives are.
CIOTA is a Professional and Examining Body for anyone interested in a career or professional development within the transport industry, whether working within the road, rail, sea, air or pipeline/ petroleum transport, and the 2nd National Transport Summit also doubles as the Annual General Meeting and Governing Council Inauguration.