Monday, 18 January 2016

FG to Create 250,000 Jobs in Railway Sector

The federal government is set to reorganize the railway sub sector of the transport industry as a way of creating more jobs for Nigerians.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who stated this during the weekend, said the government plans to embark on what he called “massive railway infrastructure developments” this year, which will lead to creation of additional 250,000 jobs for Nigerians.

He promised that the Ministry of Transportation under his leadership would work to raise transport sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the current 1.41 per cent.

He explained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s plans for Nigerians, especially in the area of job creation can be actualized through the transport industry, which he said has the capacity to contribute more to the nation’s GDP.

While noting that Nigeria suffers the bane of inadequate transport infrastructure, Amaechi said the federal government would use opportunities that abound in the sector to build the economy in the way some countries such as South Korea and Singapore have done.

His words: “The railways have suffered significant neglect even though it is the cheapest mode of transportation. The current state of railway is an indication of severe neglect and it is a chaotic situation, with government spending without any return on investments.

“Government will focus on railway to encourage mass transit of and cargo freights by railway. The current government is planning massive investment into the standard gauge whose constructions will begin 2016, with the Calabar-Lagos coastal railway”.

On seafarers’ development, the minister expressed dismay that opportunities for sea time experience for cadets were lacking.

THISDAY checks revealed that since the Nigerian National Shipping Line Limited (NNSL) was liquidated in 1995, the lack of training berths have plagued Nigerian seafarers whose formal training remain incomplete until experience at sea is acquired. Experts have also called on government to review Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) to ensure that all cadets sponsored by government are placed on vessels for this compulsory practical training.

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