Daily Trust (Abuja)

13 March 2014

Nigeria: Govt to Privatise Transport Infrastructure

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved four draft bills aimed at privatising the nation's transport sector.

The draft bills are, National Transport Commission Bill 2014, Nigerian Railway Bill 2014, Nigerian Ports and Harbour Authority Bill 2014 and the National Inland Water Ways Authority Bill 2014.

Addressing State House correspondents yesterday after the FEC meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, Information Minister Labaran Maku said the development was aimed at creating regulatory agencies that would monitor activities of the operators to ensure that the interests of the citizens are protected.

According to the minister, it became imperative to open the transport sector to encourage private participation because the government bureaucracy "makes things not to work".

He said the government no longer had sufficient resources to run infrastructure, adding that the existing laws regulating infrastructure were inimical to the participation of the private sector.

Maku said Jonathan has established a committee to be chaired by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, to work on the draft bills before their conveyance to the National Assembly.

"The real thinking now, across the world, is to open up critical sectors to private participation and yet protect the general interests of the public.

"The private sector in Nigeria has shown capacity to move in when there are opportunities. There reforms are necessary to prepare the economy for private participation. The government cannot continue to fund these sectors, but to lead the way by deepening reforms and now in the transportation sector."

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