A National Transport Commission (NTC) to cater for the transport industry will be established by the federal government, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has said.
The resolve of the federal government to establish NTC is coming on the heels of jostling by some parasatals in the Federal Ministry of Transport such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to transform into NTC.
This due to the fact that some stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy have opined that instead of settling up a new body, one of the existing parasatals in the Federal Ministry of Transport should be allowed to transform into NTC.
The new body will be saddled with the roles and responsibilities of a regulatory authority in the transport industry.
Umar disclosed this while receiving in audience a delegation of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its National President, Mallam Mohammed Garba, who paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.
The minister explained that the proposed commission when established will address the challenges and also coordinate the activities of the entire transport industry, even as he pointed out that the bill for its establishment will soon be sent to the National Assembly.
He revealed that presently, The Shippers Council has been mandated to play the role of a regulatory body pending the passage of the bill into law by the National Assembly.
Umar who stressed the need for continued partnership between the media and the government said that the media tour organized by the Minister of Information is an eye opener for people to see the achievements of the present administration in all sectors of the economy.
"You have seen infrastructural development of our nation during the good governance tour organised by the Federal Ministry of Information led by Mr. Labran Maku", he said.
He affirmed the Federal Government's commitment to complete the Eastern rail line from Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri before the end of this year.
He added that the completion of Abuja - Kaduna modernization rail project will be beneficial to the people living in Abuja and Kaduna State, noting that the rail will increase the flow of passengers between Abuja and Kaduna.
Said he: "When this project is fully completed and commissioned, you can be living in Kaduna and working in Abuja".
He promised to ensure adequate safety of high speed double gauge on the Abuja and Kaduna rail system.
He revealed that the rail track will be protected by a high fence, with other safety measures to protect the lives of Nigerians.
Umar who expressed his appreciation to the NUJ delegation for the visit to his office commended the organization for its patriotic zeal and assured them of the government's support and co-operation.
Garba had earlier said that his team was in the ministry to drum support and solidarity to Umar and President Goodluck Jonathan for the remarkable achievements recorded in the transport industry in the last three years of his administration.
He said being a member of the National Good Governance Media Tour and member of SURE-P, (Railway Committee) was privileged to see various projects executed under this administration especially in the transport industry.