Like in every other aspect of life, technology in transportation keeps evolving. The end product is for society to enjoy better fruits.
This position occasioned the visit of top shots of leading European transport technology firm, Lit Transit Slovenia, to Nigeria’s Federal Capital City, Abuja recently.
Accompanied by President, Nigeria-Slovenia Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Fred Uduma, the firm interacted with leaders of Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company(AUMTCO) for possible partnership. The foreign company seeks to bring in technologies that will enhance public transport management system in FCT, and usher in more efficient and effective service delivery to upgrade to standards that will meet the best in the world.
On the sidelines of the Abuja meeting, leader of the Slovenian delegation, Mr.Tomaz Racic who is also Vice President, Sales, Lit Transit Slovenia, and Mr. Uduma, spoke to the duo of Abuja Digest Weekly reporters, Olalekan Jimoh and Faustina Inalegwu on how the partnership will benefit FCT residents and other issues;
Abuja Digest Weekly: For the benefit of our numerous readers, can you say a bit about yourself?
Racic: Yes. My name is Tomaz Racic, the Vice President, Sales, Lit Transit Slovenia, Europe.
Abuja Digest Weekly: As a potential investor, how do you plan to partner with AUMTCO?
Racic: Well, we have checked and seen what Abuja has so far and I would like to think that there are lots of opportunities to improve the system of public transportation and our vast worldwide experience can help in proving the best possible solution.
Abuja Digest Weekly: With what you have seen on ground and in this business environment, do you think the proposed project you are bringing will work?
Racic: Yes, one hundred it can work because we have done it around the world. We have done it in crazier situations than this and we have done it in India, in Middle East, in Egypt. We have done it in lots of places with harsher environments. So, maybe, with different kind of equipment available, it is very possible but it is about equipping the buses with correct equipment and it is about setting up the correct desk office for monitoring and gathering data and using the data for analysis for effective services.
Abuja Digest Weekly: What will be the benefit of this partnership to the operator and the customer?
Racic: Oh, there are a plenty of benefits for the operator and there should be significant saving on cost, and for the passengers there should be an absolute improvement of quality on the services they will be getting on how the buses are running, when they will be taking off, when they will be arriving and all the services that will benefit the passengers. For the local government or transit agency, it is very important for them to know how the bus transit is running; know how the buses are; are they late to their destination? Are they performing the way they should? Are the drivers performing their duties accordingly? There should be significant improvement at all levels.
Abuja Digest Weekly: You have done some inspection on the buses you met on ground, are they up to the standard to march the equipment you are bringing in?
Racic: Well, I think there is significant improvement possible.
Abuja Digest Weekly: What is the enlightenment or encouragement your company is bringing to the table to convince government?
Racic: We have started discussing with Abuja Investment Company Limited; we presented the solutions we have deployed around the world. So the discussions are open. Hopefully, this is an eye opener for those in decision-making in high places so that they can start to implement locally here in Nigeria to significantly increase the quality of public transportation.
Abuja Digest Weekly: Are you interested in partnering with other states in Nigeria or for now is it only Abuja?
Racic: Well, for now, we are using Lagos and Abuja because of the cost of the system we are going to be providing or suggesting, but these can easily be used in all the other states as well.
Abuja Digest Weekly: This question is for you, Mr. Uduma. What motivated you to bring this project to Nigeria?
Uduma: Well, I have stayed in Slovenia for 15 years and as the president of Slovenia-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, in that capacity, I see things that Nigeria should enjoy and that motivated me because I want every Nigerian to have an average good life as the European or the Westerners are having it. So, it interests me to bring technologies that I see. I try to encourage this Slovenian company that has these technologies to come down to Nigeria and see how they can implement this in our society in order to give us better life.
Abuja Digest Weekly: Any advice to the government and the public?
Uduma: Well, to the government, I would only say at least 80 to 90 per cent of them travel abroad and they see things as it is over there. Just as I am bringing companies down here, they should also bring what they enjoy over there to the country to implement it here so that Nigerians who have put them there should also enjoy such things and Nigerians should try to make use of what the government provides and I think everybody will be happy.
Abuja Digest Weekly: So far, have you received any positive response?
Uduma: What we have achieved so far is positive. We are not here to start work, what we are doing is to present what we have and there are things we think will benefit the society in general. Now we hope those that we have met and who have seen the technologies, we hope that in the near future they will invite us back for that they are ready for business, to partner with us for a better life in terms of public transportation for Nigerians.