By Stephen Ubanna
Th Bashir Jamoh, president, the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria, CIOTA, and who incidentally is the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, appears to have won the heart of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General.
This is because of the contribution of CIOATA, to the planned development of the country’s Transport policy over the years. The Nigerian President may have recognised the contribution of CIOATA, to the country’s Transport road map in the past, that Vice president Yemi Osinbajo, and who had chaired the Institute’s 2021 Conference, could make policy Statement. He had urged CIOTA, to prove itself as it had done over the years in partnering with the government in the affairs of the country.
‘’The government can now rely on CIOTA, for direction, planning in developing and Administration of a transport policy for the country’’. Osinbajo, who was represented at the CIOTA, National Transport Summit, by Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and now minister of Transportation had said that the theme, of the summit this year “Regulating the Transport Sector In Nigeria: The State of the Art and The Years Ahead’’, is very timely.
Osinbajo may have gladdened the heart of Jamoh, the CIOTA president when he declared that ’’the Government will adopt the recommendations of the CIOTA summit as a critical working document for future planning of the nation’s various transportation mode ’’
The Vice President may have been encouraged to make the declaration given ‘’the quality of professionals and experts who had attended in CIOTA summit, stressing that ‘’the government trusted the institute as a worthy partner in its economic recovery drive’’. The Vice President was said to have made it clear to those that care to listen that ‘’the Institute have a role to produce transport professionals who will drive the economy from the point of view of transport and logistics’’, while declaring open the three-day summit on Monday, December 6, 2021.
Not many people were surprised why ’’ the government is looking up to the Jamoh led Institute for ‘’guidance in policy formulation and implementation’’ in the nation’s transport sector this time around. This is because of the way the CIOTA president had piloted the affairs of NIMASA, over the last one year, which had put the country on the league of world maritime nations.
The Vice President had said that the role of CIOTA in the transportation sector of the nation’s economy is enormous. Hear him: As the Institute carries out its statutory mandate of training and certifying transport professionals, as you exercise your statutory powers to regulate and control the practice of professional transport management and administration, your training curriculum and the quality of your graduates are very significant, as the global supply chain goes digital and the world of transport and transportation management thrives on ever-evolving technology and innovations.
The CIOTA president, had said, that “The theme for this year’s National Transport summit was a’’ call to a renewed scrutiny, supervision and stock taking within the nation’s transportation sector’’. Recall at the second CIOTA summit in 2020, the Institute had specifically looked at’’ the need for the country to have an enduring, sustainable transport infrastructure by addressing the issues of Funding, as well as development of the country’s transport modes not in silos but together as each mode is connected to the other’’
. It was said to have also ‘’explored the partnership concepts by making a case for private participation in the country’s railway’’. The summit had’’ addressed the many facets of funding multi-modalism in the use of rail, road transportation and short sea shipping , public-private partnership arrangements, institution building and the Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular COVID 19, believed to have increased the risk of transportation globally’’.
Given the expertise and the rich industrial base of the speakers at the summit, should have encouraged the the Buhari Administration to start implementing the recommendations of the CIOTA, summit in 2020, in order to develop a rich transport policy for the country but failed to do so. Instead, the government had dumped the CIOTA, recommendations that could have helped to develop the country’s transport sector, to gather dust in the ministry and the Presidency, thus putting the country where it is today: riotous transport system.
Jamoh, who could not hide his feelings had said that“Critical regulatory obligations such as transportation safety, quality control, documentation and licensing, information sharing and data mining, professional education and public enlightenment; enforcement of the rules and standardisation of procedures for seamless collaboration amongst statutory institutions with mandates are imperatives for the making of a sustainable and economically viable transport sector in Nigeria.”
He opined that “It is time for the government to take stock nationally of all the transportation assets’’, promising that CIOTA will continue ‘’to play a supportive role in this regard’’. We are officially assuring the government at the federal and state levels that the institute’s professional base is ready and at your disposal, he was said to have told the Authorities.
The CIOTA boss, asserted that ‘’with proper inventory of the country’s national transportation assets, it will be able address the following important concerns: the national requirement in terms of transportation assets in order to avoid duplication, underproduction or under-investment? He insists that ‘’the government must also ascertain what we need as a country to enable CIOTA to fill in the gaps’’.
The good news about the CIOT, summit, was the recognition and Induction of Fellows. At the 2021 summit, held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory,FCT, Managing Directors, of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA Mohammed Bello-Koko, and George Moghalue, Nigeria Inland Water Ways Authority, NIWA, Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary, Nigerian shippers Council, NSC, and Ade Dosumu, a one-time Director General of NIMASA, were among the 32 new inducted fellows of the Institute by Jamoh, the CIOTA president, amidst cheers.
Also on the list of the newly inducted fellows of the institute were the three Executive Directors of NIMASA: Chudi Offordile, Finance and Administration, Victor Ochei, an Engineer and Executive Director, Cabotage Services and Ahmed Shehu, Operations.
Even Kayode Opeifa, a former Commissioner of Transportation, Lagos state, Geidam Mustapha, a Permanent Secretary, in the ministry of Transportation, in the north eastern state of Yobe, Osuala Emma Nwagbara, a Maritime Lawyer, Akujobi Celestine, Registrar of Ciota, Rasheed Aiyelabegan, were equally inducted.
Indeed, the 32 inducted CIOTA fellows were very much appreciative with the Jamoh led Institute for deeming it necessary to confer them with the Fellowship of the Institute, promising to contribute their quotat in the development of the nation’s transport sector.
This year’s conference, Osagie Edward which had started as planned on Monday, December 6, 2021, was well attended by experts and stakeholders in the nation’s transport sector, including a former Head of state and heads of federal government agencies and parastatals, and academics. The CIOTA summit, is expected to come to a close on Wednesday, December, 8, 2021.
Note that Osinbajo had said that “From the stellar quality of speakers at the summit, ‘’the government expectantly look forward to a rich outcome with strong recommendations for regulating the nation’s transport sector from the point of view of pricing of services, technical quality and safety of transport equipment in a secure environment.”
Jamoh may have been encouraged to speak on the theme of this year’s summit, which he had described as a renewed call for the country ‘’to take stock of its transportation assets to facilitate development planning’’, in his Welcome Address.
Many would appreciate if the government will keep to its promise of adopting the recommendations of the CIOATA , this time around, instead of dumping it to gather dust as was the case in the last two years that the Institute had started organising such Conferences and coming out with viable recommendations that could have developed the nation’s Transport sector but was dumped to gather dust like such other good recommendations that had had been produced by even Committees set up by the government in the past and now.