REMARK BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, HIS EXCELLENCY SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE SENATE JOINT TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON THE TRANSPORT SECTOR REFORM BILLS, ON FRIDAY 3RD MARCH,

REMARK BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, HIS EXCELLENCY SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE SENATE JOINT TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON THE TRANSPORT SECTOR REFORM BILLS, ON FRIDAY 3RD MARCH, 2017.

 

Protocol;

 

1. This Senate has made the passage of the various transport sector infrastructure bills, a critical aspect of our legislative agenda. These bills include;

 

a. The Railway Bill; to reform our rail systems;

 

b. The Port and Harbour Bill; for the efficient running of the ports;

 

c. The National Transport Commission Billto serve as the sector, economic regulator;

 

d. The National Inland Waterway Billto develop the inland waterways transport system;

 

e. The Federal Roads Fund Billto ensure theefficient maintenance of our federal road network;

 

f. And the Federal Roads Authority Bill; to manage our federal roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. These bills if passed in our view, will help us modernize and expand our transport sector infrastructure. There are already subsequent NASSBER report suggesting that these bills alone can help add 87,000 new jobs annually for the next 5years, with an income growth average of 7%

 

3. This is our aim, to see more jobs added to get our people out of the streets and occupied and opportunity to see our economy diversify and recoverfrom recession. But this will only happen if these bills are well and carefully synchronized to deliver especially in the regulatory framework we have adopted.

 

4. This Senate is on the same page with the Executive on this. Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, the task we have set for ourselves has never been done before. We are however, not overawed by it. Rather we have embraced it as the necessary challenge and needed sacrifice to make for us to achieve a secure Nigerian economy for tomorrow. We have set out to comprehensively reform our entire market framework to entrench efficiency, accountability, independency and market orientation across our economic base. 

 

 

 

 

 

This is especially so with the infrastructure market architecture with our adoption of the intermodal transport sector scheme. This is where the work of this committee is most critical. 

 

5. We have invited you today, therefore, to use your technical knowledge to enrich and assist the work of the various Senate Committees to ensure there is regulatory alignment across the entire regulatory arrangements in the transport sector. Your work therefore, is to ensure the integrity of the entire system, the efficiency and legal integrity of the various transport bills enumerated above to enable the Senate reduce areas of conflict, inefficiency, unnecessary regulatory burden and ensure the achievement of the overarching objective of reducing cost of doing business and increasing the ease of doing business for our SMEs.

 

6. Like you, this present National Assembly is not unaware of the cry of our people over the issue of bad roads, inefficient rails, bad port operations and dropping efficiency levels in the aviation industry.  Like you also, we want to see the day when we shall no longer hear that our people spend endless man-hours stuck in traffic; weeks on end clearing simple goods from the port and the attendant rise in cost of doing business due to these challenges

 

 

 

 

7. While we are, yes indeed, in a hurry to ensure we deliver on our promise to our people to pass all our economic reform bills, this 8th Senate is determined toalso ensure that they actually meet our needs not just for today but for generations yet unborn. We want to ensure that these exercise is able to cut by half, our World Bank ease of doing business rankingIn a nutshell, it is important to us that we get it right and your invaluable contribution will be most helpful.

 

8. I believe that we have in our country men and women, some of the most talented and most technically gifted individuals in the world. You have been carefully chosen to serve under this committee because of your technical knowledge of the transportsector coupled with your experienceLet me assure you of the cooperation of our committees to your assignment. My office is open to you to ensure that you are able to deliver on this assignment within 5-7 working days. The Senate is hopeful therefore, that you will give us your best. 

 

9. Let me reiterate that your assignment is to advise the committees on ensuring the attainment of the regulatory alignment of the bills I have set out earlier as the reports of the various committees working separately on each of them have either concluded work or at the verge of concluding their work.

 

 

 

 

10. Your work today, is very critical and will help ensure that our decisions on these bills are grounded in knowledge and field experience vital for the success of the objectives of the laws as these bills will not only serve this generation effectively but many more generations to come.

 

11. It is my pleasure therefore to inaugurate your committee and wish you very fruitful deliberations.

 

12. Thank you.

 

 

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

 

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