It was a gathering of ‘who is who’ in the tourism and transport sectors in Abuja recently, as the Institute of Tourism Professionals (ITP) hosted the second edition of the National Tourism & Transport Summit and Expo. Held at the main hall of the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, the two-day event created a platform for stakeholders to brainstorm on the potential and challenges facing the growth of both sectors.
Held under the theme, Tourism and Transportation Inter-dependencies for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, which was dedicated to exploring in details the synergy between tourism and transportation and how best to reap the windfalls from them, got the backing of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, as well as Ministry of Information and Culture.
In his welcome remarks, the President of ITP, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, who was also the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the summit said the National Tourism and Transport Summit and Expo aims at bringing together all players in the tourism and transport industries so that issues hindering the growth of the two sectors can be tackled without sentiments.
“It is essentially meant to provide the platform to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the nation’s economy. Furthermore, it is to offer a conducive avenue to experts and policy makers in conjunction with key players and operators in the industry to brainstorm on the interconnectedness between transportation and tourism, a connectivity brought by road, rail, maritime, and air transport services and chart the way forward for both sectors and extension, reposition them in the economic diversification drive of the President Mohammadu Buhari – led administration.”
Declaring the summit open, Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Abubakar commended the organisers for the initiative, which he said has the potential to galvanise the two sectors and related industries to boost the economy of the country.
Mustapha reiterated the commitment of the federal government to massive investment in building the country’s infrastructure and the pursuit of peace and security in order to achieve inclusive socio-economic development of the country.
He said for tourism to thrive, the country needs to be at peace, giving assurance of the federal government resolve to handle the various challenges confronting the country while suing for the support and cooperation of all Nigerians and businesses to move the country forward.
Meanwhile, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCTA), Alhaji Mohammed Musa Bello noted that the FCTA was proud to host the summit, which he said offered a platform to chart a better way for the two sectors while calling on all the participants to explore critical issues relating to bridging the gap between transport and tourism sectors.
Some of the keynote speakers at the event included the Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as well as Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who were all represented at the event.
At the end of the two-day summit, participants listed Policy summersaults, under utilisation of modern technology, dearth of data and inadequate human and institutional capacity as some of the factors responsible for the drawback in the two sectors. While noting that low-level participation and poor investment of the private sector are also slowing down growth in the sectors, they observed that poor infrastructure development and also lack of synergy between the two sectors, is not helping to spur sustainable growth and development.
Participants, therefore, called for steady government policies, stronger public private partnership to grow both sectors, noting that strong human and institutional capacity and use of modern technology to conduct tourism and transportation activities are key if Nigeria is to witness sustainable growth and development in the two sectors.
FRSC Arrests 111 Drivers Without Valid Licence In Five Days
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Sector Command, says it has arrested 111 drivers within five days of the start of its “Operation Show Your Driver’s Licence,” which commenced on November 4.
The Sector Commander, Mr Hyginus Omeje, disclosed this yesterday during his visit to Badagry Unit Command in commemoration of World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims/African Road Safety Day in Lagos.
It would be recalled that the FRSC, Lagos State Sector Command, on October 30, had said it would flag off “Operation Show Your Driver’s Licence” from November 4, as part of efforts to compel collection of abandoned licences in its offices.
The Acting Sector Public Education Officer, DRC Olabisi Sonusi, had in a statement, quoted Omeje as saying the exercise would last for two weeks.
Omeje frowned at the attitude of driving without a valid licence, reiterating that it was the only legal document that permitted anyone to drive on Nigerian roads.
According to Omeje, 45 drivers were arrested on November 4, when the operation started while 23 drivers were arrested on the following day.
“On November 6, 16 drivers were arrested by the command, 19 arrested on November 7 while eight drivers were arrested on November 9 to make a total of 111 drivers altogether,” he said.
The sector commander said that the exercise would end this week, and all drivers caught without valid licence would pay a fine of N10,000 each.
He said that the command had also arrested 88 drivers without valid vehicle plate numbers within the period.
Addressing the officers of the Badagry unit, the commander charged them to manage public perception very well.
“Some of us have turned to something else because of this uniform we put on.
“Even at times some of us behave as if we are tin gods in the uniform, this is wrong.
“You have to be very careful while dealing with people on the roads, you don’t know the value of the job you have until you lose it,” he warned the officer.
Omeje appealed to motorists plying Lagos-Badagry road to be extra careful because of the ongoing road rehabilitation.
The sector commander said that his visit to Badagry was to attend a stakeholder’s meeting with the Federal Controller of Works to see what could be done to manage traffic within the axis during the period of rehabilitation.
He said that it was important that motorists plying the road cooperate with the corps and construction company so that the road rehabilitation would be completed as speedily as possible.
…Lauds FG On Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Sector Command, has commended the Federal Government’s commitment to the Lagos-Ibadan standard rail line.
The FRSC sector commander, Mr Hyginus Omeje, told newsmen, on Monday in Lagos that the project, when completed, would end perennial gridlock and truck-related accidents in and around the state.
“Only inter-modal transport system will help the country to move forward,” Omeje said.
According to him, road infrastructure in the country has been overstretched and only water transport and railway system development will bring succour to the people.
The FRSC boss also called for the revisiting of Jakande Metro Line in Lagos to move public transport and safety forward in the state.
“The long term solution to gridlock and truck-related accidents on highways is the rail. We thank the Federal Government for starting the Lagos-Ibadan standard rail line.
“If we have that rail line from Apapa to Ibadan, what we should be looking at is a place where we can open a dry port in Ibadan so that these containers and everything coming to the port will be moved from there.
“From Ibadan, they will be moved to factories where they are needed. By so doing, we reduce the number of trucks in Lagos and several hazards and risks will be prevented.
“Also, we can open up the inland waterways. What Nigeria needs is inter-modal transport system, but everything is road-based now and the roads over stretched,” he said.
On Jakande Metro Line, the FRSC boss said that the state government needed to see how to provide a master transport system that could commute many people.
“All these small commercial buses and tricycles and `O Pay’ commercial motorcyclists and others that we are operating are not going to help us.
“We need to do away with all these ones. We need to have a metro line that is working. We need to invest more on high-capacity buses as the state has started to phase out commercial buses,” he added.
Omeje described the available high-capacity buses in the state as just a drop in the ocean, saying that high capacity buses were being used for urban mass transportation.
“The Lagos State Government has started well but needs to improve more on it. We need more of those high capacity buses to take the yellow buses off the road.
“If we could edge out “Molue” buses, we can also edge out commercial buses. The number of high capacity buses is still few, we need more,” Omeje added.
Ember Months: Wike, FRSC Advocate Safety On Roads
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged road users in the state to apply adequate safety measures in this ember months as government has provided the necessary logistics to enhance free flow of traffic in Port Harcourt and its environs.
The Governor gave the charge last Thursday during the flag-off of 2019 ‘Ember’ months Road Safety, Campaign Rally, themed “Road Safety is State of Mind, Road Traffic Crash is an Absence of Mind; Stay Alert, Stay Alive,” organised by State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
The governor who was represented by the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt Authority, Ambassador Desmond Akawo, cautioned drivers against setting late time to appointments, driving against the lane (one way), drinking while driving and not fastening their seat belts, stressing that obeying the traffic rules and road signs is better than reading the road signs.
He said, in a bid to boost traffic flow in the state and rid the roads of any form of road traffic congestion caused by human activities, government recently inaugurated special taskforce on illegal motor parks, street trading and road side mechanic. He said the state government had also directed the road maintenance agency to fix all the visible potholes on roads as well as awarded contract for the construction of three flyovers with a view to ease movement in the city.
Earlier, in his address, the FRSC Sector Commander, Rivers Sector Command, David Mendie, said that the event was aimed at creating public awareness on issues affecting road safety and need for members of the public to join hands to tackle the menace of road traffic crashes on our roads.
According to him, driving requires 100 percent concentration, urging drivers to desist from all forms of distractions such as use of phone while driving, eating while driving, making-up, engaging in discussion and argument while driving.
While urging stakeholders to put in place road safety measures during the ember months and beyond, the FRSC boss expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for donating five JAC pickup patrol vehicles to the State sector command.
In a goodwill message, the chairman, Taskforce on Illegal Motor Parks, Street Trading and Roadside Mechanics, Hon Bright Amaewhule, suggested that drivers should be made to undergo training to acquaint them with the basic rules and regulations of driving with a view to reducing auto crashes on the road, saying that most of the road crashes were caused by human errors that are avoidable.
He urged FRSC to collaborate with the police, Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) and other agencies to ensure that vehicles were up to standard and road worthy.
The Airforce Chieftain, Air Commordore E.O.E Ebiowe, in his goodwill message, reiterated the preparedness of the military to partner with FRSC to ensure that safety of lives was achieved, as he urged drivers not to drink and drive.
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