Lagos — THE Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi yesterday said that maintenance of infrastructure in the transport sector has become a major challenge that could slow down the implementation of the Africna Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCTA, initiative held at the Chelsea Hotel in Abuja,
Declaring the Conference opened, Amaechi said that the greatest challenge facing infrastructural development was not finance designs or technology but maintenance of the infrastructure for sustainable service delivery.
At the Conference themed; ‘’The role of Transportation on thre African Continental Trade Free Trade Agreement’ ‘ the Minister noted that transport sector is the most critical in implementing trade facilitation and enhancing other AFCTA Protocol adding that the government is improving the intermodal transportation and trade facilitation by linking major seaports ports in the Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by the Minister of State for Transport, Ms Gbemisola Saraki explained that transportation is essential to the economic and social development as it provides vital links between the centers of production and markets and aids in facilitating the flow of goods and movement of people along corridors.
The Minister who also is said to be on an official visit to Greece who reason Vanguard could not ascertain noted that transportation and the AFCTA are like Siamese twins as they are intricately linked .
He said; ‘‘Transportation and the AFCTA are like Siamese twins as they are intricately linked. Transportation provides the vehicles through which the major objectives of the AFCTA thrives. By creating a single Continental market for goods and services with free movement of businesses, persons and investments, promoting regional and Continental integration, market access and resources reallocation across sectors and countries.
‘’Protecting rail infrastructure has been the greatest challenges facing infrastructural development in Africa . It is not infrastructure design, finance or technology but maintenance of the infrastructure for sustainable service delivery.
Similarly, the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, NITT Dr. Beyero Farah in his address said that the transportation is a far cry from what it should be in Africa Continent adding that there is a need for massive investment in connectivity and transportation .