By Lucy Ogalue
The National Freight Hauliers Association (NFHA) has commended achievements recorded so far by Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi.
The National President of the association, Jackson Bent, in a statement on Sunday said in the history of the Ministry, Amaechi had proven to be outstanding.
He said Amaechi had achieved alot and had brought all major stakeholders in the industry together, which had never happened before.
“This administration of the minister, is the best we have ever seen in Transportation sector.
“I have many reasons for this, since he came there has being a complete revival in the industry, especially in this present situation about fall of economy in the entire world, not just in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria what we have been depending on solely was petroleum, the rest is history, we knew what the value change of dollars used to be and what it is now.
” Therefore the country has nowhere to turn around to rather than the transport industry, mining and other areas to be able to sustain our economy and the development of the nation.
“Why I said the coming of this minister is the greatest thing that happened in this industry is that when he came, the first thing he did was to call a general Stakeholder forum to readjust the transportation industry,” Bent said.
On the Kano-Maradi rail line, Bent said it was a real plus to the country as the establishment of the train to Niger Republic would boost Nigeria’s economy especially in the area of trade.
According to him, most of the products in Niger stores are imported from France, adding that for the rail line to exist, Niger Republic will have gotten approval from France.
He said the implication was that most of the products which would be imported from Nigeria to Niger would possibly get to France.
He said: “Most of all the food in Niger are all imported items from France and other places.
“So if Nigerian rail can open, all the trading aspect of it will boost the economy so much that you will be surprised even the people in Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, and others will export their produce to Niger, they have irrigation farms with a whole lot of produce in those areas.
“What I am saying is that, for the fact that they even agreed to execute the project, it’s a plus for Nigeria.
“A plus in the sense that instead of them depending on oversea materials and produce especially food, that can now be gotten from Nigeria.
“Trading is going to be two ways, even if the bulk is from Nigeria, it’s for our own interest, we are opening market for our local products.
“Let me tell you, Niger Republic has oil now, but the good news for Nigeria is that they don’t have a port to transport it to Europe, it means they have to pass through Nigeria.
“Now that the country is looking for the alternative to develop her economy that is why I am saying transportation, mines, and others will now come to the forefront, we are blessed in this country,” he added.
While highlighting some achievements of the association, he said NFHA had been in existence for 19 years but was facing challenges because things were not properly put in place from the beginning.
Bent however noted that the present administration was working with relevant stakeholders to transform the image of the association.
He said the association was presently operating in about 28 states with over 1.8 million members.