Today’s edition of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Weekly Subject Experts’ Presentation was held at Hall C, TY Buratai Block, Abuja. There were three presentations made by the Subject Experts covering Southern Africa, North America, and South East Asia.
The first presentation by Maj Gen KI Muktar, the Subject Expert for Southern Africa discussed the pathetic state of road infrastructure in Zimbabwe. For 20 years, the country’s road infrastructure has remained unattended. Thedius Chinyanga, the Permanent Secretary of the Transport Ministry said that Zimbabwe will work to ensure that rehabilitation of road infrastructure in the country meets regional and international standards. The poor state and low quality of roads have resulted in the death of over 2000 Zimbabweans, and scores of others were injured due to the country’s broadside.
In his analysis and lessons for Nigeria. Maj Gen KI Muktar noted that land transportation is a vital aspect of the socio-economy well-being of Nigeria. It’s a major facilitator of growth and development that promote, manufacturing food, Security, Industrial Development, Tourism, Education, and Health, among others. A recent report shows that the Federal Road Safety Corps has recorded 5,320 road traffic crashes involving 8,808 vehicles with 2,471 deaths due to poor motorable and potholes-intensive highways. Reasons for bad roads in Nigeria are because of bad design and construction without proper drainage, heavy tonnage beyond the capacity of the road, lack of supervision of roads as well as failure to develop a maintenance plan for the roads. He suggested the need for private-public partnerships in the transport sector.
The second presentation by Brig Gen AA Adanogu the Subject Expert for North America dwelled on Mexico’s plan to lunch a state-run Airline. The Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that Mexico will lunch a new airline named Mexicana after the state-owned carrier went into bankruptcy. The Government of Mexico has reached an agreement with Boeing, a US Aircraft manufacturer to supply planes to Mexico Airlines. The Mexicana will be a military-run commercial airline and the fleet is expected to consist of 10 planes including the presidential Boeing 787 Jet.
He noted that Nigeria like Mexico is also on the stage of re-establishing a national carrier after a failed attempt to launch a profitable airline such as the West African Airways Corporation (WAAC) in 1946. The Nigerian Government has enlisted Ethiopian Airlines to facilitate the taking off of a new natural carrier, the Ethiopian Airline owns 49 percent of the stake while Nigeria’s sovereign fund takes 46 percent and the Federal Government takes 5 percent. He recommended the need to review the extended shareholding agreement that gave Ethiopian Airlines the controlling shares so that Nigeria can benefit more from the bilateral Air service agreement.
The third presenter, Brig Gen SN Eze who was covering South East Asia centered on the Philippines’ investments in smart cities for infrastructural development and massive social experiments. Smart cities were adopted to address problems stemming from the increasing population, rapid urbanization, venerability to disaster, and shortfalls in infrastructure. He stated that the three main goals for pursuing smart city development are high quality of life, a competitive economy, and sustainable development.
In his analysis of Nigeria, he pointed out the benefits and efficiency of increased use of smart applications in traffic, transit, health care delivery, security, water, energy, waste disposal, economic development, and housing. He cited Eko Atlantic City Lagos which was developed by the Chagoury Brothers as a model of a smart city. Challenges facing smart city development in Nigeria were highlighted during the presentation of which stakeholders collaboration has been a major challenge in urban placing and management in Nigeria as well as the big gap between the rich and poor.
Present at the briefing were the Executive Director NARC Consult, Major General JGK Myam, Director of Research, Senior Research Fellows, Consultants, Directors and other management staff of the Centre.