Human capacity development in Nigeria’s transportation sector

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by Festus Okotie
As a nation, it is very important for our long-term survival that we ensure the human resource development and planning of the transport industry is directed towards the quality and creative energy of the people that will provide higher quality results and maximize efficiency in our nation’s transportation sector.

The transport industry plays a fundamental role in the stability and growth of the economy and needs constant improvement and innovation within the sector to drive greater efficiency. Human resource planning in the sector is a basic resource that is an indispensable means of converting resources in the sector to the benefit of the nation’s economy, and so policies must support a structured process of managing capacity and improving quality, and innovation in conformity with Nigeria’s goal.

It is impossible for our nation’s transportation sector to continue using the same old strategies and then expect different results. For example, most first world nations have well-structured research groups mandated with the responsibility of constantly creating innovation and driving higher performance and system improvement in the sector.

Process development, such as the support and increase of funding of platforms such academic institutions, consultancy, and research. These groups ideally work with a mandate of constantly working round the clock to provide solutions and ideas on how to move the sector to greater heights.

Transportation and logistics are two key areas which play an important role to facilitate the attractiveness of economic investment of Multi-National Companies. New and emerging technologies such as robotics and automation have changed the way we work and the way that we receive services and products and transportation sector employers need adaptable employees with skills in strategy and management if we desire genuine change.

Systematically ensuring sector-wide training (and re-training) will crucially refresh industry knowledge and technical know-how to keep professionals up-to-date of latest trends, new legislation, and the technologies and practical requirements for their professional occupations, consequently contributing positively to their ability to innovate, adapt and motivate.

While GDP from transport in Nigeria increased to $720.241 million in the third quarter of 2019 from $642.927 million in the second quarter of 2019 with a far greater potential, it is interesting to note that we can learn more through partnerships with nations such as China, Australia, USA and Canada who have consistently grown and achieved greater performance through funding of human capital development, funding research and think-tank groups within the sector.

Most of these transport professionals gained their practical skills either through real life experience, vocational education and training courses and so it is important for government to give priority to these professionals while investing important time, resources and energy in driving policies that will enhance the growth and development of the sector in Nigeria.

Players in the sector (both public and private) need encouragement to develop their employees. In Nigeria, the challenge of human resource planning has remained prevalent because of lack of attention, awareness and perhaps, because of the growing cost in the training and development of personnel among organisations. Sector management need to make adequate provision for training and development programmes for the greater performance of its work force which is very strategic for its operational efficiency.

Evidence of continuous degeneration and setbacks in the transportation sector in Nigeria can be blamed partially on poor human resource development and subsequent upgrades are needed to meet global standards. Investments in transportation infrastructure, operations and management will be properly utilised to ensure a positive impact on the growth and development of the sector, as well as a direct impact on the economy. Inefficient human resource planning development programmes and applications are also responsible for the slow growth in our transport sector.

The transportation sector contributed 2.49 percent to nominal GDP in Q1 2019, an increase from 1.85 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2018 and higher than 2.05 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018. The transportation and storage sector grew by 19.50 percent in first quarter of 2019, the sector has very great potentials and has the potential of tripling these results if properly managed and explored. We need to call on the authorities in the sector to look beyond self-ambition, politics, religion and other negative elements hindering the growth of the sector by setting up research and think-tank groups mandated with the responsibility of coming up with innovative and unique ideas on how best to maximize results within the sector.

The data above shows the GDP contribution of the transport sector to our economy, its importance and why the process of moving goods, persons and services across our nation must be improved, through the use of modern technology and professionals with the right knowledge and expertise to drive greater efficiency. The strategic importance of the sector cannot be over emphasised as all first world nations recognise its relevance in boosting their economy.

Transport sector will continue to play a fundamental role in fostering socio-economic growth and development in nations economy globally and therefore very important for industry leaders to acknowledge that most nations with higher productivity levels had previously taken steps to make uman capacity development an integral part of their business and management culture.

FESTUS OKOTIE

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