Senate President Bukola Saraki received the National Executive Committee of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Abuja on Friday.
Besides honouring with the position of Grand Patron of the association, the National President of RTEAN, Abubakar Sadiq said the purpose of the visit was to see ways of partnering with the National Assembly to end the economic recession.
Senator Saraki mentioned that the Senate already has gone to work on this by encouraging private participation in the transportation sector and by passing up to six bills that will help improve the sector.
True to his claims, the Senate promised to fasttrack the passage of some economic-related bills that are able to jump-start the economy and hopefully, put an end to the recession. The Senate shared 11 of the bills it was giving priority to and four of those were transportation-related. The National Road Fund Bill, National Road Authority Bill, National Transport Commission Act and National Ports and Harbour Authority Act.
But just last week, the National Road Fund Bill was considered by the House of Representatives and rather than bring us out of a recession, it will further toughen the situation. It was recommended that an extra N5 levy be charged per litre on any volume of petrol and diesel products imported into Nigeria and on locally refined petroleum products. The funds generated are supposed to among other things, go into the maintenance of roads across the country.
Did the RTEAN question this move? We’re not sure.
But the association’s president called on the Senate to help in tackling other challenges faced by stakeholders in the transport sector. Insecurity, transit crimes, highway robbery, poor road network, decayed infrastructure, roads furniture and safety in motor parks were on his list.
With the Senate President’s reassurance to ensure the transport sector works effectively, we’ll see how the other bills will fare in this regard and in their promise to end the current recession.
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