The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has stated that Enugu and Kogi states will kick-start the planned Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) to be sited in eight locations across eight states of the federation.
TTP is a transport infrastructure developed by the NSC to facilitate trade in the country and ensure safety of lives on the highways.
The eight locations identified as economically viable for the construction of the TTPs include: Port Novo Creek, Lagos State; Ogere, Ogun State; Onitsha,Anambra State; Jebba,Kwara State; Lokoja, Kogi State; Ore, Ondo State; Obollo-Afor, Enugu State.
The facility has in-built business incubation centers to boost the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as other recreational facilities.
Not less than 15,000 job opportunities will be created when the project becomes fully operational, according to the facilitators of the project.
The NSC, which is the nation's Port Economic Regulator and the representative of the federal government are facilitating the development of the TTPs to boost local and international trade in the country.
Shedding more light on the project at the just concluded Enugu International Trade Fair, Bello, said: "A Truck Transit Park is a public rest area located off the road, designed to provide temporary rest location for truck drivers. It is primarily intended for short-term safety breaks and also longer-term parking services in high-use transport corridors."
In his presentation on the title: "Economic Regulation and Effective Trucking In Ngeria," he observed that, "Transport is a critical determinant in the conduct of international trade and impacts on national economies. The availability, quality, cost and efficiency of transport services influence the trading environment and the competitiveness of export goods on the international market as well as the cost of imported goods. In this regard, the Nigerian Shippers' Council serves as an agent for economic development through interventions in the cost moderation and cargo transport issues resulting in positive impact on inflationary trend in the country."
Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Public Private Partnership (PPP), Mr. Glory Onojedo explained that as part of its ports economic regulatory duties, the NSC is to liaise with the host state governments of the TTPs to ensure the provision of the infrastructure and other facilities on the project sites.
"So far, Kogi State Government has allocated about 45 hectares of land at Ohono village along Lokoja-Abuja highway for TTP project, while Enugu State Government has allocated about 50 acres of land at Obollo-Afor in Udenu Local Government Area for TTP project. Kaduna State Government is developing TTP projects at Mararaban Jos, Tafa and Buruku for heavy duty trucks, as two locations have been procured while the third one is expected soon, "he said.
According to Bello, the TTP projects will be delivered through public private partnership, which entails mobilising private sector resources for national development, adding, "TTP project is one of the strategies to fast-track the bridging of infrastructure deficit particularly in the transport sector".
Bello noted that the position of Transaction Adviser for the TTP has been tendered for and the selection process was on-going, adding that it is the responsibility of the host state governments to identify and allocate suitable land free of all encumbrances'; provide basic infrastructure such as electricity, water, access road and security.
He added: "will protect import and export cargo on haulage vehicles and general road safety; it will reduce accidents and damage to cargo caused by fatigue and associated risk costs; it will reduce pilferage and theft of cargo in transit due to enhanced security; it will afford cargo owners the means to monitor the movement of the cargo through a tracking system in TTP network; it will improve transit to hinterland locations as well as transit cargoes to landlocked countries; the TTPs will also bring about increased Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), employment opportunities, wealth creation and boost local economies of the states, among others."