A leading economist, Professor Pat Utomi, has admonished Federal and State Governments to jettison political interference in contracts and concessioned projects, as part of efforts to create an enabling environment that supports indigenous and foreign private sector investment in transport infrastructure.
Speaking on Wednesday at the National Transportation Summit organised by Chartered Institute Of Transportation Of Nigeria (CIoTA), Utomi stressed that this practice of “frivolous interruption of legitimate infrastructure concession agreements and contracts” have scared Nigerian private sector investors as well as foreign direct investments, while the nation suffers the consequence of dilapidated transport infrastructure.
“People don’t go to a country where property rights are threatened. In Nigeria, Governors are revoking Certificates of Occupancy that were approved by their predecessors. We are talking of properties that people have invested billions of Naira to build revoked due to political considerations. People don’t come to countries like that,” he said.
Utomi, who is also the Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), lamented that lack of efficient transport infrastructure has seen Nigeria lose relevance to smaller African countries and other nations outside the continent.
Noting the strategic role of logistics in economic development, Prof. Utomi said, “Chinas dramatic rise is down to the fact that they were able to turn around their logistics sector.
“Africa will not make the progress that it is destined to make, unless Nigeria leads the flying geese. What transformed South East Asia economy? One country, Singapore began to get it right, and others looked across the border and joined in the development stride. Before you know it, Malaysia, Thailand and others had their economies transformed.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill establishing CIoTA in June this year, and since then the association, led by its National President, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has continued to engage stakeholders in the sector constructively towards achieving a “viable inter-modal transport sector” in Nigeria.