The leadership of the African Road Transport Union says it is committed to ensuring free trade movement of goods and persons within the Africa nations.
Dr Kassim Bataiya, who was recently elected as the Deputy President of the Union in Marackech, Morocco, told Voice of Nigeria in Abuja that the body was committed to removing bottlenecks hindering passage of goods and services on the continent.
He noted that although the Union is faced with other pressing challenges, it has however resolved to focus on the transport business in order to impact the Africa economy.
According to him, some of this challenges ranges from language barrier and race, which according to him the union is putting measures in place to address.
Enumerating other areas of priorities of the regional transport union, Dr. Bataiya said that the ease of transporting goods and persons within the region, ensuring the road network linking from one nation to another and the safety of passengers as well as goods that are are conveyed within the region are properly taken care of.
Dr. Bataiya said that ECOWAS has endorsed the provisions of a draft Supplementary Act stipulating the axle load standards for heavy duty goods transport vehicles plying public roads in the region.
He explained that most countries bordering Nigeria depend on it for their economical survival because it has the capacity to import.
“Nigeria is a big economy nation, people are saying we are not a producing nation but only move goods around the region, I want you to know that Nigeria produces a lot,” Dr Bataiya stated.
Other nations rely on Nigeria to convey goods for them because they do not have the capacity as Nigeria to move goods and people across the region,” he added.
Dr Bataiya therefore applauded the on-going rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads across the country by the Nigerian Government.
“As the President of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), our association is feeling the impact of the government,” Dr Bataiya emphasized.
He noted that in a very short time, the government initiative of raising funds from various sources to meet the required funding of roads in the country will meet the expectations of Nigerians.
From 2015 to date, the Nigerian Governmnet has constructed several hundred kilometres of inter-state federal roads and bridges to ease the movement of persons, goods and services.