Let’s get to know you personally. What are your names? Ifiok Effanga Tell us a bit more about your educational and family background? what were you like growing up ? I studied Mechanical Engineering at Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State. I hail from Akwa Ibom State, from a family of six. What are…
Ralph, the topic you handled this week is a very important one. It is also an issue that is at the heart of national development. After reading through the write up, I kept asking myself if this nation has a transport policy. If there is one, what is the content and why are officials of government and professionals in the transport sector not talking about it frequently? The nation’s industrial base is shrinking and local participation is diminishing every day. The reason for this, apart from poor electricity supply, is the poor state of the transport sector. There is no organization at all in place. If we had organization, even if not well developed, some of the things happening in the sector itself would not happen. Aero Contractors raised our hopes and by the time we wanted to cheer them up, they disappeared; Arik rose from the ashes of Aero Contractors and that provided the nation some consolation, but as I write this, Arik is closed down and the reasons we get concern corruption. Nobody is talking about hostile business environment and nobody will talk about this because the so called experts handling affairs in the nation’s transport sector are worried about their salaries and not policy matters. The railway system is dead, our transport officials couldn’t add to what they inherited from the colonial masters; Ralph, if they couldn’t add they should have at least been able to retain what they received. In the last 20 years successive administrations talked about developing the railway system, 20 years after they are still battling with the Lagos-Kano railway line and not much has been achieved. If we had a transport policy and we have well trained professionals implementing it, by now all the cities and rural areas would have been linked up and our economy would have been better for it. With all the multiplier effects such a development could have on agriculture, industrialization and unemployment. The pressure on roads would be minimal; the roads will last very long and with regard to what you wrote about, the comfort of travelling citizens would be enhanced. Today as it is, it is difficult for a decent citizen to travel by public transportation. Private transporters are architects of disorder, and their bus terminals which are dirty lack space, and most don’t have standard conveniences; moreover, their drivers are poorly trained. National exodus has become routine but our officials still do not know it is important to plan for it. Abroad where some of us live and work, we have observed that the government, security and traffic agencies anticipate such periods and respond appropriately. In one of my visits to Nigeria we were held up in traffic on the highway for over eight hours and within the time, no police, army, civil defense or road safety personnel were on sight. The situation was terrifying, this kind of scenario is clearly avoidable; all they require is to be a little proactive. I hope your work would provoke positive reaction Dr Grad Adeyemi. [email protected]
Ralph, I read your article titled “Transport and traffic organization”. Good write-up. 08165400484
Hello Ralph, you made my day with your article titled “Transport and traffic organization”! It was a delightful piece, particularly for us professional transport administrators and transport union officials. I commend you and appreciate you for scaling up the transport sector for adequate planning attention, enforcement to plan its roles in the socioeconomic transformation of our nation through wealth creation and job opportunities for all. I hope to meet with you soon for a chat on this important sector.
Comrade Abdullahi M. Jabi, National Secretary, Roads Employers Association, [email protected]
Ralph, no Nigerian can say he is not aware of political appointment being a reward for loyalty and support for political parties that succeed at the poll. So it is aberrant to expect right men in right political offices, more so where tribal politics is endemic like it is in Nigeria. Could anyone have expected that the second Niger bridge could still be awaiting completion after over eight years, while most northern federal roads and bridges have been completed as and when due for obvious reasons! In some states the only thing the Ministry of Transport does is to empower individuals to collect daily charges from commuter drivers for sharing with some top political office holders. What a bare-faced corrupt practice! Rather than security officials and agencies in-charge of transport helping traffic to flow, all they do as you rightly stated in your piece is extort money from drivers for self satisfaction. Just on television, few hours before I read your article, the case of policemen impounding bags of rice being transported by travellers to their hometown for Christmas celebration was highlighted and the officers hid under the guise that the rice was contraband. The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in the zone condemned the act and promised to investigate and bring the culprits to book. The statement confirmed that such a thing happened yet we know his reaction was the usual tale by moonlight often told by security forces when such infractions occur. It is nauseating that most times Nigerians are taken for a bunch of fools by the leadership class. May God save Nigeria!
Ralph, good work as usual. Tell the Minister of Transport that the transport sector requires organization and some standards. Tell him he should organize the private transport sector. Remind him that many drivers on our roads have no training. Training of drivers should be regular and a databank is required to store records of bad drivers. Good work, I hope those concerned read the article. Effanga – 08137718156
Hello Ralph, I thought you are a journalist but never knew you are a transport expert. Don’t mind me, I almost forgot that you guys are also learned men who must be vast in all sphere of human endeavors. With a Masters degree in Logistics and Transport Studies, I agree in totality with the write up “Transport and traffic organization”, but the question is “Dem Go Hear”? It is welloo! We hope to write the wrongs in our new nation Biafra.
Nigeria is a state of many colours, it is a patched up state, not a formed one. A formed one has one lifestyle and one goal. This is why Nigeria should be dissolved, essential things that make a nation are lacking. 08039533245
Ralph you just don’t write, you teach. Keep it up. Nwaeze-08036633019