By Dirisu Yakubu
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Thursday declared federal government’s plan to introduce solar-powered vehicles as well as vehicles capable of driving on water.
This is even as the minister said the Federal Executive Council has given a nod of approval of checkmating emissions from vehicles in the country owing to the resultant health implication for the people.
Amaechi who was represented by the Director, Mass Transit and Road Transport in the Ministry, Dr Anthonia Ekpa at the 9th quadrennial delegates conference of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, added that the ministry will stop at nothing to implement government’s directive on the reduction of pollutants across the country.
“Government has given the Ministry of Transportation a mandate to deliver on emission control, the reduction of a pollutant from vehicles and we are beginning that immediately.
“The federal ministry of Transportation has introduced in the 2018/2019 budget what we called the solar-powered vehicles and this is coming to you. We have also introduced vehicles that can drive on water and land.
“One of the challenges that the Ministry has observed is that safety is a priority and the Ministry wants you to collaborate with it and the Federal Road Safety Commission to ensure that road safety is a priority and apply the code and norms to ensure safety on our roads,” Amaechi said.
Declaring the conference open, Secretary to the Government of the federation, Boss Mustapha lauded the union for their contribution to the success of the 2019 election even as he tasked the new leadership to build on the successes of its predecessor.
Represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Senator Tayo Alaosuadura, the SGF told the union that the federal was putting in place, policies and programmes aimed at ensuring road safety at all times.
“As pioneers in transport unionism, it is heartwarming to know that your union has so far followed a healthy part in changing its leadership at all levels without rancour. I wish to also acknowledge the enormous contribution of NURTW to our national development especially in providing employment to our teeming youths, sensitizing commercial drivers on safety and organizing other vehicular activities in our motor parks across the country.
“The union has also fought poverty by providing loans to small and medium transport operators which are second to none. I am glad to inform you that the government is doing all that is necessary to give policy direction and guideline as well as provide a conducive environment for the transport industry to smoothly operate and thrive.
“You will observe that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has invested so much on road construction and rehabilitation across the country. This effort is to reposition the transportation sector for inclusive socio-economic development, peace and security of the country.
“I want to also assure that this administration will continue to commit a reasonable chunk of our income to save, smooth world-class road network. You are also enjoined to partner with the Federal Roads Safety Commission in ensuring that all drivers obey road signs and regulation as this will bring safety to all road users.
“I want to assure you that the President has continued to strengthen the unity of trade unions through constant consultation and collaboration. Let me use the opportunity to express Mr President’s appreciation for the role the Road Transport Union played in the successes of the 2019 general elections,” he stated
On his part, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba commended the leadership of the union for their sense of togetherness, adding that in the past few years, the union has been contributing meaningfully to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.