Senate President Bukola Saraki on Wednesday opened the 9th Regional Conference of International Transport Federation (ITF) where he described Nigerian economy as viable and safe for foreign investment.
The Conference has as its theme: “Transport Workers Building Power in Africa’’.
He was represented by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport.
He said for ITF to host the conference in Nigeria, goes a long way in showing how viable Nigerian economy is.
“It is very important to note that in any country transport workers are very important because you find them in all sectors for movement of human beings or goods.
“For hosting the conference here means that Nigeria is labour friendly, all these point to the fact that Nigeria is very relevant in global economy politics.
“ Nigeria being chosen, sends a signal to the outside world that you can come to Nigeria to invest through foreign direct investment.
“Employment will go up; there will be introduction of modern technology in our transport system, “ he said.
Saraki said the power and relevance of transportation and the transport sector all over the world cannot be overemphasised.
He said the sector plays crucial role toward exploration and connection to the world for globalisation.
He said ITF and related bodies should create viable and realistic policies that are critical in reducing the frequency of strike among labour movement globally.
Mr Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of ITF, said the conference was brought to Nigeria because of its strong affiliated unions and workforces in Nigeria.
He said ITF has over 20 million transport unions globally, with the regional conference held every four years.
Cotton said the conference was focusing on woman and youths with discussion on workers’ welfare and more women involvement.
Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, said the National Assembly enacted Nigeria Railway Bill 2016 and the National Transport Commission Bill.
He said the railway bill is to bring in private participation in rail as the government improve on what is on the ground.
Alhaji Najeem Yasin, the National President, Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW), commended the Federal Government for the laudable initiatives by the Ministry of Transportation.
He said some of the initiatives were the promotion of transport strategies and helping in reducing poverty and stimulating growth.
He said the purpose of the conference was to allow Africa affiliated unions to appraise the implemented regional work programme and identify the challenges ahead.