By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, met with a delegation of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
Amb. Muhammad Bishara, the Deputy National President, Administration, RTEAN, who represented the Executive National President, Dr Musa Mohammed, spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting.
Bishara said the issues discussed at the meeting ranged from economy to gas flaring, gas conversion and support to the transport sector.
“We paid a visit to the vice president with respect to some issues that affect the economy of the country especially on transportation which is the mover of the nation’s economy.
“One, we spoke about conversation of vehicles; the world is going into green energy; Nigeria has a lot of gas being flared.
“We want the government to see how it can use the gas being flared on those vehicles that are using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as the country loses billions of Naira on gas flaring.
“Secondly, we talked about the establishment of Transport Development Bank which can be beneficial to all sectors of transportation.
“We talked about support to manufacturers especially those in the transportation industry.’’
According to Bishara, Nigeria has a lot deficit in the transport sector.
He said that report from the Ministry of Transport showed that Nigeria had 7 million vehicles, while that of the National Bureau of Statistics indicated 10 million vehicles.
Bishara said that, if supported, the transport sector had the capacity to create jobs and grow the economy.
“Our population is growing; almost projecting to 250 million and the vehicles operating in Nigeria are not enough; we have a deficit of 10 million vehicles; we have a lot of youths who can be employed in the transportation sector.
“I want to tell you that one transport company can employ up to 10 persons, ranging from vulcanisers, labourers, mechanics and others; a lot of people are benefitting from it; it can cover a lot of problems by giving employment to the youth.
“It may also reduce the insecurity problem we are having in this country; these are some of the issues we discussed with him.’’
The deputy national president said that the vice president’s response was positive as efforts were already underway on issues around CNG.
“He said that the Federal Government was doing its best to see how it could accommodate the youth.
“They also want to see how they could come in and support the transportation industry, which is the mover of the nation’s economy.
“They are also thinking about how to get subsidy for vehicles coming for commercial activities because the cost of living is too high and logistics is part of that cost; gas is too high; petrol the same thing.
“ The only way is using is CNG as mode of energy; they have already constituted a committee that is working on this,’’ he said. (NAN)