By Muyiwa Adekojede
Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation,asserted that maritime (sea) transportation will free up Lagos state’s regularly congested traffic as there is an ample presence of water that surrounds the state, and with that, one can move at a short time to his/her destination.
Rotimi Amaechi, however, disclosed that the reason why the Federal Ministry Of Transplantation (FMT) hasn’t inaugurated such a transportation system at large in the megacity is due to that Lagos state is at loggerhead with the Federal government on who have the Constitutional right to carry out such ample project on the sea.
The FMT is responsible for rail and maritime transport subsectors, road & mass transit administration as well as intermodal coordination of the Nigerian Transportation System.
According to the honourable minister, the rail transportation system has been at the center of the FMT vision coupled with a 25-year railway strategic vision to rejuvenate the Nigerian economy. He said:
“You can not live without transportation
“It is the key element of economics in the world.”
The Ubima-born minister asserted benefits and justification for the revival of the formerly redundant railway transportation system in Nigeria.
He explained that the benefits of the renewed railway transportation system cut across myriad facets.
According to him, these benefits include low transportation costs for travelers, a boost in product value, reduction of stress, drastic reduction of corruption in checkpoints, alleviate the logistic bottleneck and corruption, and safe transportation.
Prof. Iyiola Oni later backed Rotimi Amaechi’s statement at the public lecture held at the University of Lagos saying:
“The [railway]system offers greater transport system.
“Most of the time, the cost of moving the cargo and the commodity is, even more, higher than the cost of the product itself.”
The 124-year-old Nigeria railway corporation hadcommenced service in 1898.
The former Governor Of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi later added that FMT has also strived to make the railway transportation available at a good cost and that the ministry is coming up with internet facilities. In his word:
“Once you enter the train you have air condition, no one is sweating around you, you can watch television free of charge, there is food, [and]you have toilet.”
The minister later enjoined Nigerians to access the railway system as it is open to transport not only people but goods and services in the best condition.