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Ashafa urges early passage of transport commission bill by NASS

Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, a former Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, has called for early passage of the National Transport Commission Bill by the National Assembly (NASS).

Ashafa, made the call at the 3rd Annual Stakeholders’ Conference on Road Transport and Mass Transit Operations on Thursday in Abuja.

Ashafa, also Chairman of the conference, said the bill among other things sought to set up a multi-modal transport agency responsible for the regulation of economic activities and safety standards in the transport sector.

“The proposed bill was in consonance with a more contemporary international approach to solving transportation issues.

“When the bill was passed at the National Assembly (NASS), we were unable to get Presidential assent due to limited time and slight irregularities in the drafting of the bill.

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“Something, I sincerely hope will be corrected in the 9th session of the National Assembly.

“For me, this will be a good place to redefine the conversation surrounding our present challenges in the area of economic and safety regulation of the transport sector,” Ashafa said.

While reiterating achievements by the 8th session of NASS, Ashafa said N500 million was also approved for solar powered tricycle and amphibious vehicles to develop Nigeria’s mass transit sector and boost job creation.

He quoted the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics as saying that speed violations were responsible for 52 per cent of total road accidents in the country.

He said dangerous driving and wrongful overtaking followed closely with nine and eight per cent.

Ashafa said that while the government had the duty of providing appropriate infrastructure and policies, Nigerians should obey safety rules and regulations on the roads.

He called for the deployment of technologies on the Nigerian roads, thus consider the role of “internet of things” in transportation for vehicular and pedestrian safety.

He said: “We should consider the implementation of innovative best practice safety solutions, upgrade our urban road infrastructure and prioritise safety of vulnerable road users.

“We should deploy decision support system to support urban mobility, promote safety policies and public transport and take bold steps among other things to further reduce unsafe road user behaviour.

“If we are able to imbibe the aforementioned solutions and suggestions, I am confident we would advance towards the next level in sustainable transportation safety and infrastructure growth befitting our nation.”

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mr Sabiu Zakari said the conference would offer a platform for major stakeholders to contribute to the discourse on road safety mobility in the country.

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Zakari said this included the nexus between non-motorised transportation and clean mobility in ensuring road safety for engendering pro-people road transportation with implications for health and post crash management.

He urged stakeholders to generate tangible ideas and make necessary recommendations to the government for onward implementation.

Also, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Executive Vice Chairman, Presidential Task Team, Apapa Port, urged the stakeholders to partner with the government to improve mobility safety in the country.

“So, as we look to the future, let’s continue to encourage greater transportation innovation through technology and more cross-modal cooperation.

“By working together, we will advance safety, mobility, economic growth and a greater quality of life for everyone, ” Opeifa said. (NAN)