With another significant plaque added to his award catalog, it seems settled that Nigerians are pleased with the performance of the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, whose commitment towards the revival and modernization of the country’s railway network and infrastructure has earned Nigeria a pride of place in the African continent.
Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, made the assertion in reaction to the choice of the former Rivers Governor as the Minister of the Year, 2021, by Daily Independent Newspaper.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, the APC chieftain said Nigeria is at the verge of experiencing a novel economic recovery with strong growth projections over a couple decades.
The growth, Chief Eze said, is driven by the fast- growing demographic and large- scale urbanization triggered by the massive rail infrastructure projects connecting virtually all sections of the country and which is contributing to the increasing inter-state trade in the country.
“The rail sub-sector of the Transportation sector has accelerated and in fact, intensified trade trade with significant investment and yield to the country’s economy.”
Rail transport, as a result of its energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower cost per ton kilometre, is playing an increasingly important role in the conveyance of freight over long distances. In comparison to other means of transportation, railways are particularly useful in mass transit systems for both inter-city and urban settings.
Prior to his appointment to head the Transportation Ministry, the condition of existing railways infrastructure and rolling stock was very poor.
This shortfall hampered the potential of the rail systems to play a strong contributing role in the nation’s economic development.
It will interest Nigerians to know that before Amaechi assumed office as Minister, rail transport market share was way below 5% of the total volume of freight transport but now stood at almost 65% indicating a very positive result.
The reasons for this situation include the lack of investment in infrastructure and the absence of a supporting institutional framework. However when Amaechi came in, he folded his sleeves and swung into action and his efforts are paying off because the rail transport is inevitably critical to supporting economic development and the Minister believes that unless the Nigerian railway system is revived and fully developed, the country may not realise its full potential in exploiting its abundant natural resources and wealth.
“It is exciting to see that Nigerians understand the importance of the efforts the Minister is putting to make things work and we thank Daily Independent Newspaper for recognizing hard-work and commitment to national assignment.”
Describing the award as coming on the heels of the signal achievements of the Transportation Minister particularly in the rail revival, Chief Eze said the award investiture on Amaechi is an invitation to a higher service and noted that the Minister will respond at the time most appropriate.
On a similar note, the Executive Director – Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hon. Onari Brown, has described the latest award on Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as a positive confirmation of ThisDay Newspaper’s declaration and award on Amaechi as the Best Minister of the Decade.
According to Brown, “those of us who are privileged to work with Rt. Hon. Amaechi from his days as Speaker of the State House of Assembly and as the Governor of Rivers State know that what he has done with the Rail system and other sectors under his watch is just a tip of the iceberg.”
“He will do more to change the fortunes of this country when he eventually gets the opportunity to lead the country.
“Amaechi is a workaholic and one of the most patriotic leaders Nigeria has ever had. He is one man who is ready to lay down his life for the betterment of his nation”, Brown stated.
On his part, Prof. Georgewill Owunari, Vice Chancellor of of the University of Port Harcourt, reacting to the award said Amaechi’s emergence as the Minister of Year and his recent Turbaning as the Dan Amanar Daura (the Trusted one) simply put Amaechi as God’s gift to Nigeria which the citizens must utilize to take Nigeria out of the woods.
Similarly, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Prof. Henry Ugboma describes Amaechi as “Our own revealtion to the entire world.” Ugboma said It is left to Nigeria and Nigerians to utilize fully this enigma for our common goal and destiny. The CMD emphasized that with Amaechi reenacting what he did in Rivers State to rescue the State at the national level, Nigerians can sleep with their two eyes closed.
Chief Eze congratulated the Transportation Minister for the honour done him by the leadership of Daily Independent Newspaper, describing the award as a sure propeller for greater works for the country and called on Nigerians to continue to support and encourage the Amaechi to do more.
He thumped-up for the Minister who dedicated the award to his amiable wife whose ceaseless prayer for the Minister, the Rivers APC and Nigeria at large has remained a great source of inspiration for the successes of her husband and his political family. Dedicating the Award to his amazing and amiable wife whose inputs to his huge success in life needn’t be overemphasized is a step in the right direction.