By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
Delegates at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja yesterday rejected proposal for the revival of the moribund Nigerian airways, even as they kicked against the establishment of a new national carrier for the country.
The Conference Committee on Transportation had, in its reports recommended the resuscitation of the old national carrier or the establishment of a new one.
However, delegates approved the construction of railway lines from Enugu through Ore to Lagos, even as they kicked against recommendation which seeks to scrap the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA.
The Conference delegates also kicked against the proposal for ‘ Trunk A’ roads to be linked to the 774 local government areas of the country. Also the recommendation for the installation of CCTV on all the federal highways suffered the same fate.
It however approved other recommendations of the committee, urging the federal government to make funds available for their execution.
The approved recommendations are: The dredging of all inland water ways and the need to fast track east west road, that major airports in the country should be linked to railways, that all states must have a mass transit system. It also voted that a naval coastal guard should established.
Others are, a review of the Cabotage Law to achieve the desired objective, a provision of incentives to private sector by the federal government to build trailer parks, the construction of Coastal road from Badagry to Cross River state and the dredging of River Niger to keep it navigable always.
The conference also approved that the Cargo Airport in Onitsha, Anambra State should be concluded to enhance commercial activities in the south east.
Conference urged government to as a matter of urgency complete the National Hanger Project at Uyo Airport in Akwa Ibom State so that it would serve as a repair and maintenance hub for airlines operators.
Government was also tasked to establish Road Development Fund for the development and maintenance of public roads and that the sources of revenue may include among others, toll gates with a provision for alternative routes, vehicle tax, weigh bridges, parking fees and petroleum tax.
It was decided that there should be a legal framework for the private sector participation in the financing and management of public roads in he country.
Conference also asked the federal government to start work on the Nigerian sector of the Trans-African Highway as a way of easing transportation with the African continent.