By Ignatius Ushie
The Annual Transport Stakeholders’ Conference which is aimed at bringing stakeholders together to brainstorm and proffer solutions to the inadequacies and challenges that are confronting the Road Transport and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria, holds on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26. It is organized by the Federal Ministry of Transport and coordinated by the Department of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, headed by Dr. Anthonia Ekpa.
This 3rd Annual Stakeholders’ Conference, which is to be held at the Central Bank of Nigeria International Training Institute Maitama, Abuja, is the belated 2018 edition which could not hold as planned.
The theme for this Annual Conference is “Road Mobility Safety in Nigeria”. It is believed that this 3rd Annual Conference will sustain the momentum and achievements that has already been made in the Road Transport Sector.
It would be recalled that what is today known as the “Annual Stakeholders’ Conference” was hitherto known as the “Stakeholders’ Workshop”. The Stakeholders’ Workshop was conceived in 2015 following the creation of the Department of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration in the Ministry by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in 2014.
Suffice to say that the posting of a New Team of Officers to pilot the affairs of the Ministry and the Department of Road Transport & Mass Transit Administration, changed the narrative of the Department and repositioned it for greater achievements in pursuit of the Department’s core mandate. One of such achievements among others is the sustenance of the Annual Stakeholders’ Conference.
Sequel to the approval of the immediate past Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary, the maiden edition of the “Stakeholders’ Workshop” as it was then called, was organized by the Ministry’s Department of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration with support from major Stakeholders including Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association/National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Employees (PTDA/NUPENG), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), at the Central Bank of Nigeria International Training Institute Maitama, in July, 2016 with the theme “Implementing Change in Road Transport and Mass Transit Operation and Management” . It was chaired by the Emir of Kano HRH Muhammad Sanusi II, CON. Relevant Stakeholders in the Transport Sector, Commissioners of Transportation, State Permanent Secretaries etc were in attendance.
At the Workshop, a decision was taken that states of the Federation will take turns in hosting the Conference and Akwa Ibom State indicated interest in hosting the 2nd Annual Conference.
In December, 2017, the 2nd Annual Stakeholders’ Conference held in Akwa Ibom State, at Le Meridian Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort with the theme “The Role of Road Transportation in the Achievement of sustainable Development Goals and Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan” had some far reaching decisions taken. These included: Establishment of Commissioners’ Forum to foster good relationship between the States and Federal; change in the nomenclature of the meeting from “Annual Stakeholders’ Workshop” to “Annual Stakeholders’ Conference” among others. It was also agreed at the Conference that Ondo State Government will host the 3rd Annual Stakeholders’ Conference in 2018 but due to electioneering activities, the state could not host the Conference as agreed.
By Ignatius Ushie