Mozambique: Nyusi Calls for Accessible and Reliable Transport

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday urged newly appointed Transport Minister Mateus Magala to seek for solutions to improve the circulation of people and goods throughout the country.

At the ceremony swearing Magala into office, Nyusi said he wanted to see an accessible and reliable transport system, that will allow businesses to sell their goods anywhere in Mozambique and allow citizens to go about their normal affairs without running into transport bottlenecks.

"The sector you will lead affects all of governance", he told Magala. "One of the constraints hindering successful compliance with our governance agenda, is that Mozambicans have difficulty in access to road, rail, maritime and air transport. This id due to the shortage of enough good quality transport, and when the means of transport exist, the costs are high".

Nyusi instructed the Transport Ministry to increase the number of buses, and other forms of mass transport through adopting an economically and financially viable operational system that does not rely on state subsidies.

The National Road Transport Institute (INATRO), a body subordinate to the ministry, must act as a catalyst for citizens' mobility, and must speed up the issuing of the necessary documentation (such as driving licences).

Nyusi stressed the need to improve road safety. The large number of traffic accidents on Mozambican roads has been blamed, in part, on the poor state of the roads and of the vehicles using them.

"You have the task of leading actions that will eliminate serious road accidents", said the President. "It is necessary to step up the inspection of vehicles, to improve the signposting of roads, and to improve coordination with the Traffic Police".

He also urged Magala to pay greater attention to the public companies which fall under the supervision of his ministry, particularly the Telecommunications company Tmcel, Mozambique Airlines (LAM), and the Mozambique Airports Company (ADM), which are all in deep financial difficulties. Nyusi wanted the Transport Ministry to intervene to reduce the liabilities of these companies, and to allow them to grow in line with the requirements of the national economy.

The companies should be restructured, he said, through adopting a plan of action based on realistic assumptions. Nyusi encouraged "sizing down" some of the companies' assets, notably Nacala International Airport, in the northern province of Nampula, which only has a couple of scheduled flights a week (from LAM) and has never been able to attract international airlines.

"We cannot hesitate", declared Nyusi. "We have to advance in these companies and put the country on the move. We must implement audits and governance systems which ensure that procurement and investment programmes do not result in the theft of funds".

Nyusi urged Magala to pay special attention to coastal shipping, which has recently been relaunched. Shipping along the Mozambican coast, he said, should become a viable alternative to road and rail transport.

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