By EricJames Ochigbo
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, says the bill for an Act to repeal and reenact the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) Act will address road crashes in the country.
Speaking at the opening of a public hearing on the bill on Thursday in Abuja, Gbajabiamila said the bill if properly harnessed would also liberate the country from over-dependence on oil.
He said the bill when passed into law, would provide direct and indirect employment opportunities and reduce the carnage on roads and waterways.
Represented by Deputy House Leader, Peter Akpatason, Gbajabiamila said that the high number of deaths on the nation’s roads would be addressed among other issues.
“This bill is very timely and a laudable initiative. We as legislators will support all viable efforts that will lead to improvement of the transportation industry in Nigeria,” he said.
In her remarks, the Minister of State for Transport, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, said the NITT remained one of the key institutions under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
She said it was the ministry’s objective that it was supported to achieve its full potentials to become an institute of global standard.
“I convey the full support of the Federal ministry of transportation to this legislative initiative by way of a bill for an Act to repeal and reenact the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) Act.
“Since it came into existence on March 14, 1986, the NITT Act has not been amended; giving the need to respond to changing circumstances including the need to streamline the membership of its governing powers, and to align its staff policy with those of other academic institutions, the ministry supports the general principles of the bill.
“It is geared toward ensuring that NITT becomes more professional, practical and future driven institution which will serve as a hub to produce the much need manpower in our nation’s transport sector.
“As Nigeria’s economy continue to expand, the transportation sector will be required to adjust to changing realities, provide logistics and solutions to serve this expected expansion.
“This bill from our own evaluation, is designed to ensure we put in place a foremost national institution to address potential manpower requirement to achieve this objective,” she said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abbas Tarjudeen (. ) said that transportation playes a major role in the daily life of human beings.
He said that no society or country could function optimally if it does not have measures in place to facilitate transport.
According to him, an effective transport system will provide productivity and overall development.
He said transportation had helped to enhance life over the years and the current world would not be able to thrive without the ability to transport things from one place to another.
He said millions of people around the globe relied on transport to get to their businesses, homes and work places every day.
According to him, transport facilitates economic activities and as such, economic growth relies on access to efﬁcient and dependable transport system.
“Transportation encourages tourism which is among the sector that have emerged as a powerful tool for economic advancement.
“Haven been chairman of this committee for the past three years, I have observed that if Nigeria wants to stop or minimise her over -dependence on oil, one of the areas she must look into is transport sector.
“In looking at transport, serious emphasis must be placed on training of transport operators and the only agency of government in transport that is saddled with the onerous responsibility is Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology.
“A critical look and examination of Nigerian institute of Transport Technology Act 2004, revealed that there is an urgent need to repeal the Act if it must meet up with modern challenges and compete favorably with other transport training institutes in other climes.
“It is on this positive note that I decided to sponsor this bill. There is no gainsaying that if this bill is passed into law, Nigeria is going to harvest a lot of beneﬁts from it,” he said. (NAN)