Former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, on Thursday, emphasized the need to accord road development equal priority as other modes of transportation, such as aviation, shipping, and the railways.
Ekpa, who gave the charge at the 9th Nigeria Annual Transport Lecture organized by Transport Day Newspapers, with the theme: ‘Nigeria’s Transportation For Development; Sectoral Achievements, Prospects and Challenges’ which held in Abuja, insisted that the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be actualized with road transportation being comatose.
The transport expert said the Federal Government can as well borrow the way it borrows for rail development to build lasting road infrastructures.
She also tasked stakeholders, including governments at all strata to consider reorganization and synergizing the road infrastructure stakeholders with a view to bringing them under one roof for effective development.
“I have seen more than two decades in service, and I’m convinced that not the funding of the transportation sector is inadequate when you consider the fact that transportation is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, the belief is that without transportation, the SDGs will not function,” she said.
She lamented that official records show that more people die in Africa in road mishaps than from HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Ekpa decried the scattered transport policy entities across various ministries in Nigeria, saying that a strategic synergy is required to ensure easy and effective and quick response to issues of road transportation development in the country.
According to her, all over the world, road transportation administration and road construction entities are housed together.
“Because the people doing the thinking and the people doing the coordination and the people doing the Construction and the researchers must be on the same table discussing,” she said.