The National Economic Management Team presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, deliberated on key issues top on the agenda were improvement of ports, railway services and the common tariff in the West African sub-region.
At the end of the meeting, the Federal Government has therefore resolved to improve ports administration and railway services as a major step towards improving the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the economy in general.
The Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi told State House correspondents that the meeting deliberated on the report of a committee set up by the President on the nation’s ports and took some decisions aimed at repositioning the ports in the long run.
He did not however give specific details of the decisions taken.
Obi further disclosed that the meeting also deliberated on a presentation made by the Minister of Transport on efforts being made to revive the country’s railway system.
“The issues we discussed are the problems we need to deal with and I think with the decisions we have reached, they will go a long way to improve our ports because if our ports are working, they will contribute a better GDP to the country.
“Every port in the world contributes about 3 to 5 percent of GDP of that country if it’s efficient.
“And then the issue of rail was discussed. If you look at the transportation in this country, it is difficult to move cargoes and everything which impact heavily on our roads because the rail is not working.
“The Minister of Transport presented the issue of the roads, railways rehabilitation which they are doing in order to rehabilitate up to Kano, Lagos and everything and how to move the cargoes and all that, and how to bring about PPP in rail transportation which will go along way.”
The governor said the nation was moving closer to the improvement of its ports daily.
He said the time for clearing goods which initially took months had been reduced drastically to about two weeks.
Obi said the meeting also discussed the issue of common tariff within the West African sub-region.
Asked if the meeting discussed the issue of airlines in the country, Obi said, “You know these things collapsed completely. The same thing about the airlines. In terms of transportation, you need to bring a lot of supports. If you talk about the airlines for example, it is a long term business, you need a long term funding.
“These are issues not just for the government, government can’t fix airlines. That one, I think has to do a lot with issue of getting long term money in the country.”