The Niger State government has reiterated its commitment to revive the state-owned Transport Authority through a partnership with private investors who are ready to invest in the sector. The goal is to boost the transport system and alleviate the transportation problems faced by the people.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, stated this during an interactive session with the media on Thursday in Minna. He added that talks have reached an advanced stage with a private company, Samzung and Rakiyat Project Ltd., through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. The aim is to bring in no fewer than 500 CMG Buses to be distributed to different commercial transport operators in the state.

These organizations, according to Vatsa, include the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and ACOMORAN, among others.

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Jonathan Vatsa, an erstwhile Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism in Niger State and the State Publicity Secretary of the Niger State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said Samzung and Rakiyat Project Limited had agreed to partner with the state government in the area of transportation. They will be bringing in 500 different brands of CMG Vehicles, including Suzuki and Toyota Hiace Buses, to boost the transportation system in the state.

He stated further that the targeted beneficiaries will be the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), and the Association of Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycles Operators in the state, with the government providing the enabling environment.

Accordingly, he emphasized that the only way the present Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago-led administration in the state can realize its dreams of a new Niger state agenda is to embrace the concept of Public-Private Partnership (PPP). He described it as the engine oil of genuine development all over the world today, highlighting that the government has lined up a number of developmental projects to be undertaken through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.

He stated further that it was obvious that the money from the monthly Federation Account Allocation cannot achieve the desired results. He said that all the bottlenecks that were responsible for the failure of such arrangements in the successive administrations in the state are being taken care of.

He added, “If we must achieve the desired results, then we must be ready to do things differently. It cannot be business as usual. High levels of corruption, nepotism, greed, selfishness, and lack of sincerity contributed to the failure of similar PPP arrangements in the state in the past. Still, this administration cannot condone such practices if we’re genuinely trying to develop and grow as a state in Nigeria. We have studied why such PPP arrangements had failed in the past, and this government will not allow such things to repeat itself now. You cannot be doing one thing the same way and yet expect a different result,” he declared.

He maintained that with the improved security situation across the state in recent times, the state is now safe for investors who are willing to invest in the state. He said, “The recent onslaught against the bandits and other criminal elements across the state by security agents, in collaboration with local hunters and vigilante groups, indicates that peace is gradually returning to the state.”

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